You might think that working behind the counter in a burger joint would be no fun at all. But if Burger Shop 2 is anything to go by, you’re dead wrong. It turns out that putting orders together for a succession of hungry customers from a menu of more than 100 items is a great way to kill some time.
This casual time-management sequel from developer GoBit sees you waking up in a dumpster to discover that the catering empire you built in the previous game has been cruelly taken from you.
There’s nothing for it but to start from scratch and regain everything you’ve lost the only way you know how: making fast food.
Once again you’re assisted by the BurgerTron 2000, the secret weapon that helped you dominate the fast food world in the first game. Whoever put you in that dumpster clearly missed a trick.
Your trusty robot companion issues a constant stream of food items into your restaurant via a snaking conveyor belt, while your customers wait at a counter along the bottom of the screen, requesting meals in speech bubbles.
To serve a meal you simply tap on the requested food items, and a plate if necessary, and then on the patron who ordered it. Except that only applies to the simplest of simple dishes. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself cooking food, filling glasses, toasting toast, and much more.
Burger Shop 2 is deceptively deep. New food items are added before every stage (you get to choose which ones), along with boosts and other features.
Foods need to be prepared in a variety of ways, whether in the oven, from the ice cream machine, out of the fryer, or whatever. There are toppings, too, such as butter on toast or sprinkles on ice creams, all of which makes for a dizzying number of considerations to juggle.
Over time you’ll learn to make the most of the tools at your disposal. You’ll fill fries cartons and soda glasses even when there are none on order, keep the oven working to have steak, ham, and fish ready to go, and you’ll make use of the extra place at the end of the conveyor belt, which allows you to keep one item aside.
You’ll also learn to serve your customers tactically, giving them their meals in parts rather than all at once, so that you can spread your attention equally among your impatient patrons.
The game contains different customer types with different levels of patience and different requirements in terms of the food they like to eat and how many dishes they’re going to order. Learning to identify these customer types on sight is essential if you want to maximize your efficiency.
It’s a tough challenge, even in the tutorial stages, but fortunately Burger Shop 2 gives you boosts in the form of lollipops that you can dish out to prevent angry customers from leaving, dog biscuits that you can give to certain customers to make them happier (and thus more generous), and even a little hovering robot called BurgerBot, whom you can deploy to fill an order for you whenever his energy bar is full.
Burger Shop 2 isn’t getting any awards for presentation. The graphics could easily belong to a game from 2005, and during gameplay it can be difficult to connect with particular food items because they’re so small on the screen.
It can be frustrating, too. If you make a mistake you can’t simply remove the errant food item from the plate - you need to tip the whole lot into the waste disposal. In cases where cooked food is involved, this can set you back a fatal amount, for reasons that don’t feel intuitively fair. After all, you wouldn’t be expected to start from scratch in real life. Games are supposed to be more forgiving, not less.
Whether or not you played the first Burger Shop, if you’re a fan of casual time-management games like Diner Dash and Cook, Serve, Delicious! you’ll gobble this up. Burger Shop 2 may not be the slickest game of its type, but it has a fun story and a surprising amount of depth and challenge.