Version Reviewed: 1.0
Graphics / Sound [rating:4/5]
Game Controls [rating:3.5/5]
iPhone Integration [rating:3/5]
User Interface [rating:3/5]
Replay Value [rating:2/5]
From Nimblebit, the folks who brought you Scoops and Textropolis, comes a new game...one which has you impersonating a worker at a burger joint?
Look, I know that the economy's bad and all, but I don't exactly fantasize about flipping burgers for a living, and Sky Burger hasn't changed my mind about that.
Sky Burger is essentially a refined version of Scoops, with a new focus on building burgers instead of creating an endless tower of ice cream. For some unexplained reason, all of the ingredients are falling from the sky. Starting with a bottom bun, you have to catch a predetermined amount of each ingredient in order to build the burger that's been ordered. Once you have enough ingredients, you finish the burger off with a top bun.
Of course, customers tend not to enjoy getting unasked-for ingredients added to their burgers, so you also have to dodge superfluous items. (Pickles with my Toe Cheese Burger?! What were you thinking?) You get tipped based on how close your burger is to the recipe. Speaking of recipes, they're rather creatively named. That "Toe Cheese" Burger is what Sky Burger calls a cheese-and-tomato combo.
Points are present in the form of money. You get paid based on both the complexity of the burger and from the tip. There's a "Career" option in the menu that allows you to see how much you've made to date, how long you've "worked," and other interesting stats. You can also see the global averages.
Sky Burger features two control schemes: tilt-based and touch-based. The tilt controls are far superior to the touch version, which has you dragging the burger around and therefore obscures the screen. You can calibrate the tilt controls if you feel so inclined, but it's really not necessary. The game handles fine on its own.
There are some nice touches here. The ability to have multiple profiles, online syncing that allows you to delete the app without losing data, the Career statistics, the quirky burger names—these are all appreciated additions to a simple game, and I have to applaud Nimblebit for adding them.
But ultimately, those things really didn't matter to me, because I felt that Sky Burger was lacking the simple element of fun. Assembling burgers isn't such a bad job right now, but only if you're actually getting paid. For me, waiting for the proper ingredients to magically fall from the sky felt more like a chore than a game. There wasn't enough variety, and I got bored pretty quickly. Sugarcoated graphics and upbeat elevator music can't hide the fact that Sky Burger is a string of repetitious gameplay with little innovation.
Of course, I didn't like Scoops either, for the same reason. At least Sky Burger has mini-missions (recipes), which give the game some focus; it's an improvement over Scoops. But without any real incentive to keep playing and a boring difficulty ramp, eventually you feel like just another underpaid wage-slave. I don't need an app for that.
I should remark that a lot of people seem to enjoy Sky Burger; the App Store is full of glowing reviews. I'm just not one of them. Feel free to leave your impressions in the comment section for debate! (That's what it's for, after all!)
Nimblebit's preview for Sky Burger is below.