When does work feel more like play? When you're working for Papa, of course! Now, Flipline Studios can keep you on the clock and at the grill on your iPad with Papa's Burgeria HD, the first mobile port of their amazingly popular time management simulation series. While fans who have played the original Papa's Burgeria game will find the gameplay here mostly very familiar, this iPad edition combines elements from newer installments in the series to beef itself up and serve one delicious (and greasy) experience you can now enjoy on the go.
If you're new to Papa's restaurants, don't worry; running one all alone is surprisingly simple. Customers will enter the shop at the order station, where you jot down exactly what they want on the curiously specific burger of their dreams. From there you move to the Grill Station, where you slap down patties and cook them to the desired doneness, flipping them for an even sear. Lastly, you'll visit the Build Station, where you carefully design your meaty masterpiece according to each customer's specifications, dragging each ingredient into place and trying to get it both centered and in the proper order. Done right and quickly, and you'll get a happy customer as well as a bigger tip that can go towards buying helpful upgrades and decorations between levels. You'll even unlock new ingredients as you go! All of this is handled neatly with your finger (please use a spatula for grilling in real life) as you swap stations at the tap of a button, and drag ingredients and order slips around the screen. Which doesn't mean to say that it's easy, since, as anyone who has ever worked the line will tell you, things are going to get hectic very fast, and when you're juggling six orders at once you can't lie down on the job. That is, unless you're playing this game in bed. In which case you can. iPads are awesome.
While I did experience some minor slow-downs on my first generation iPad, Papa's leap to iOS is largely very well done, mostly because the series feels like such a natural fit for the touch-based controls. The setting and concept is of course virtually identical to the original free browser game, the addition of unlockables, store customisation, minigames, and more from more recent games like Papa's Pancakeria really helps round the whole experience out and make it harder to put down than ever before. It's gorgeous, vibrant, and even more addictive than the perfect golden french fry. Turns out you can fry burgers just as well on an iPad as you can on your computer. Uh... I don't mean literally. Please don't put raw meat on your iPad. It voids your warranty and ensures your e-mail gets circulated and laughed at around Apple HQ. Not that I would know anything about that, of course.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on an iPad (1st gen). Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.