Caught somewhere between a time management game and a restaurant sim (but leaning heavily in the direction of the former), Burger Bustle puts you in charge of a busy cafe that somehow has the ability to exist in many locations throughout time and space. Flip burgers, create desserts, swap employee roles and collect tips as you work your mouse hand off keeping everything running as efficiently as possible!
It's not just about the customers in this slightly different time management game. People still come in the shop and make orders, but fulfilling those orders requires more work on your part than just clicking the correct spots in the correct order. The cafe is divided into a few main sections: the burger grill, the sides carts, the toppings tables, and the packaging bar. Each section needs an employee in order for things to get done, and it's your job to drag and drop items between the stations to keep everything running.
Say, for example, a cheery old chap saunters in and orders a red drink, a piece of cake, and a fish burger with cheese and lettuce. You start by clicking the fish burger station on the grill, then drop the burger off to the toppings guy to add the cheese and lettuce. When that's complete, set it on the packaging area and the employee there will wrap it up and give it to the right customer. Get your drink/dessert/fries staff member to create the appropriate sides, drop them at the packing table, and you're good to go.
Employees can be hired for a small fee whenever you need them, and you can swap people in and out of stations as you please. These are some well-trained cafe workers, that's for sure. The customers make some pretty interesting demands, always seeming to need what you don't have prepared, so keep things mobile on your end of the counter and you won't have a problem serving people with speed.
The game takes place across eight different environments, ranging from the beach to the wild west, a winter-themed town, and... outer space. Yes, there are people in outer space, and they want burgers something fierce. Upgrades don't play much of a role in Burger Bustle, as each stage is a standalone quest with some stations out of order or unlockable for a fee. You do, however, earn awards like a coffee machine and candy tray that make your employees work faster and keep customers happy, respectively.
Analysis: When something different comes along in the time management realm, it's always a good idea to pounce on it like a lion in the middle of a famine. Burger Bustle is that savory piece of meat you've been looking for, with a nice reversal of the time management convention, sending your cursor behind the counter to keep things running smoothly. Customers, while still interesting and kind of funny, seem almost like a second thought in the game, which is a great thing!
Levels play out a bit differently than other games of this genre, presenting you with a number of tasks to complete instead of seeing how many people you can serve in a given amount of time. Having objectives keeps you task-focused, so instead of trying to keep people happy, you're looking at your goals to see if you need to hire more employees or serve more cheese burgers. Some of the objectives seem a bit arbitrary, but otherwise they tend to complete themselves as you play.
Burger Bustle works hard to keep each level different than the last. Whereas most time management games simply up the complexity, this one simply jumbles the available work stations. Sometimes you'll be serving only desserts, drinks and fries, while other times you'll have only one kind of burger but all three topping stations open with no one to staff them. It's a great way to juggle the gameplay around to keep your interest in completing the game as high as possible.
With over 60 levels to play, each more varied and difficult than the last, Burger Bustle offers a lot of gameplay, even for seasoned time management fans. You'll even unlock survival and relaxed modes, adding even more challenge and fun to the experience. Sit down, swap some employees, flip some burgers, and have a great time.