I try to avoid games that are overly fluffy or obviously girl-centric, such as that horrifying iMagine Babies, which I can't imagine actually appeals to anyone who hasn't had a frontal lobotomy. A single picture should prove the point on that game.
So, when I found myself unexplainably drawn into "Burger Restaurant," I began to worry that my gamer-morals had evacuated and were off playing Russian Roulette with Hello Kitty and the Olsen Twins. Not only is it a browser-based, Flash game (the epitome of casual), but in it, you play a pink-clad, doe-eyed blond whose apparent only purpose in life is to be a one-woman assembly line of burgery goodness. She doesn't even chat with the customers--probably because the only words she knows are "Tee-hee, how can I serve you?" and "No, they're real." Despite the character's (she doesn't even have a name) cardboard cut-out appearance and lack of purpose beyond shakin' & bakin', this game is hella addictive.
It starts off slow, with pretty much only one potential burger combination, meaning you can stockpile patties and just wait for the customer to arrive. (Very McDonalds'-esque.)
But after a few levels, it really picks up speed, and you actually have to strategize your cooking methods, while paying attention to the increasing-in-impatience customers and, eventually, even burglars who will rob you blind when your back's turned. (You get to beat them with a baseball bat if you catch them.)
Beyond my own break-from-work or any-time-I-pass-my-computer love of this game, I'm thrilled that it's yet another installation in my "Games that will turn Melissa into a gaming fiend" collection. It's probably a step back from her Chibi-Robo experiences, but I still feel that any game she enjoys is one game closer to true-player-status.
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