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The Hamburger Game

Written : 01/26/04

I know that as of late, a lot of my content has been revolving around video games. I intend to stop that trend with this here article. I havenít really written about anything non-video game for a while (excluding holiday specials), and itís making my site seem too video game-oriented. Of course, thatís what I love, so itís okay, but thatís not why I made the site. I wanted to write about all sorts of different stuff. That includes toys, games, food, movies, whatever. If I can think of something I love and think might interest others, Iíll write about it.

Iíve been playing board games my whole life, and you think by now Iíd be pretty good. But the fact of the matter is, itís almost always up to the dice to decide whoís gonna win. A lot of them are games of chance, and very few require a lot of skill or thinking. Thatís why for the most part, theyíre aimed at children. But hey, theyíre fun, and thatís why Iíve been spending a lot of time playing them lately.

During the last semester of school, me and my friends have been playing board games a lot during spare. At first it was Monopoly. We played Monopoly for months. Every day we played at least one game. It was starting to get annoying, so we mixed it up by playing Star Wars Monopoly instead. Then when we got annoyed with that, we moved onto Star Wars Battleship. That one didnít last too long, but I did have a much better record, 5-1, than I did at Monopoly, 5-(no clue). We knew we had to find something new and fast. Thatís when I remembered the Hamburger Game.

One of the most cherished of my childhood memories, the Hamburger Game is still one of my personal favorite board games to play. Most of my friends think itís exceedingly stupid, but I love it. I mean, how could you not like a game that is about food? All food-type games I can think of are great; the Hamburger Game, Pizza Party, Grape Escape, and to a lesser extent, Candy Land. Actually, the Grape Escape game is a lot better than all of them if you just intend to smash the Play-Doh grapes over and over, but I still think quite highly of the Hamburger Game.

Oh, and one more little thing before I really get into it, my friend took all the pics, not me. I know he hasnít learned the word Ďfocusí, but I donít actually have the game, so there wasnít a whole lot I could do about it. Just keep in mind that I didnít take them, so you shouldnít get angry at me when you canít tell whether a picture is of a tomato or a jackalope. Not my fault. Got it? Just wanna keep myself on the innocent side here. Ok, back to the thingy.

Above, you can see the game board. Itís full of all sorts of crazy crap, and may even seem a bit confusing if you have no idea how the game is played. But the rules of the game are actually quite simple. There are two to four players competing to collect all the pieces for their burger. Itís just like a big game of memory, with a die and pawns. And even the pawns are pretty basic, as theyíre the same pawns that come in 60% of all the board games out there.

In the center here, we have all the little white spaces where all the burger pieces are placed. The only trick is that theyíre face-down!! I guess it doesnít seem so easy now, does it? You may also notice that the lettuce seems to be hitting on the tomato, but Iíll get to that a bit later. Basically, the way the game is played, is that the player rolls, moves, and then tries to find the burger ingredient that they landed on. If they find it, they get it. If not, tough cookies.

When a player scores a piece, they get to put it in this handy little area to keep it safe from the others. Itís even got a little position for each ingredient. Isnít that thoughtful? Now you may wonder, ďBut what if I only want a veggie burger? Or a burger without onions?Ē Well once again, tough cookies. Youíre supposed to be some fast-food guy making burgers for real people who eat real burgers, not wuss-burgers. At least thatís what I like to think. I think youíre thinking that Iíve gotten way too into this game. And if you are thinking that, youíre right.

This is what a complete burger... box... thing... looks like. Oh yes, and thereís one important little detail I forgot to mention. No matter how many times you land on it and find it, you have to pick up the bun last. Once again, you question the gameís logic, since the bun character is the whole bun, but the instructions say that itís only the top of the bun. Besides, when making a burger, I imagine youíd gather all the ingredients before you start putting it together, so it makes sense in a roundabout way. Maybe that last paragraph didnít make sense to you, but it worked in my head, so Iím not changing it.

And this one is what the game might look like when being played, with all the pieces in place, and the crappy little pawns all over. Notice how they lack so much detail. I would have preferred comical standy characters, but when I think about it, there are no characters aside from the ingredients in this game. So I guess you get away with it this time, Chieftain Games. But next timeÖ next time will be different. Iíll make the New Hamburger Game, and it will be the greatest game ever!! Iíll show you all!! SHOW YOU ALL! Ahem. Youíll have to excuse me. I tend to go insane from time to time.

Ah crap! There is one more thing I forgot to tell youse. This space here is called ďThe KitchenĒ. Sounds pretty hardcore, eh? Well, it is. Itís the only reason that I ever lose this damn game. You see, when you land on your own Kitchen, you can call any piece you want and go for it, but if you land on opponentís Kitchen youíre screwed. In that scenario, they get to steal any piece that they want from you. And trust me, itís a huge problem. Like I said, I always lose because of these damned squares!

And now that Iíve given you a good idea how the game goes down, weíll take a look at each of the characters. Sure, by all means theyíre just run-of-the-mill foodstuffs with faces, but my friends and I were able to give them all personalities. Yes, we have absolutely nothing better to do in the three hours we have between classes. Two spares in a row before lunch may sound like a good idea, but trust me, unless you want to waste a lot of gas, being stuck in school for that long is not very fun at all.

Our first and most confusing character is Kelly Ketchup. The problem with Kelly is his/her/itís sexual obscurity. The name is no help, as ĎKellyí is regularly applied to both males and females. The character itself holds no evidence of sexuality either, as the face is as totally gender neutral as the rest of the body. Finally, Kelly isnít even on the box, so thereís no way at all to tell which gender this particular bottle of ketchup is. Kelly is kind of like the Pat of the Hamburger Town.

Next up is Billy Bun. There isnít a whole lot to say about him. Heís the most annoying bun youíll ever meet, because he keeps popping up when you donít want to see him. I guess if anything, heís a monster, because as depicted on both the box and the center square, he intends to eat all the other ingredients. Heís just making it seem like theyíre going on a nice little ride, but when theyíre all on there you just know heís gonna munch Ďem all up like so many condiments before them. GeeÖ Now I really donít like Billy.

These two are Peter and Paula Pickle. Now there are two theories for these two. The first one, my theory, is that Peter is a cannibal and ate Paula, and on the tiles, sheís just a cardboard standy. My reasoning is that only Peter is on the box. So where is Paula? Where is she? The second, less appreciated theory is that theyíre just normal pickles, but they enjoy the company of each other just a little bit too much, if you know what I mean. If you donít get it, hereís a hint: it starts with an ďInĒ and ends with a ďCestĒ. Another point of interest, my friend Stacey seems to harbour some sort of strange attraction to these pickles. I suggested that a cucumber might be more satisfying and was promptly kicked.

This guy is Oscar Onion. As you can tell, heís quite the wussy. Always crying, even on the box. Just look at the guy. Heís pathetic, like some sort of pity whore. I mean, maybe he realizes his fate and is very unhappy about it, but if I knew I was going to be killed and eaten, I wouldnít stand around crying, Iíd get the Hell out of there. Other than that, Oscar is a very uninteresting character. Just like real onions.

If Kelly Ketchup is the Pat, then Marsha Mustard is the slut of Hamburger Town. Just looking at her, you can see how much of a tart she is. And the proof is all over the box. On the cover, sheís clearly fondling the cheese, and then on the side sheís moved on to another of the condiments. Sure, maybe the guys who designed it just didnít care about continuity, and they probably never thought that it would be analyzed by a bunch of immature teenagers, but thatís very unlikely. I still think sheís a whore.

Charlie Cheese is another one of those characters that you really canít make up anything funny about. Heís full of holes, so maybe heís been shot a lot? All I know is that I have no respect for him, because heís a sucker for that hussy Marshaís seductive ways. Damn fool pays for sex. I guess there really arenít any other characters fit for that job, as most of the others are male, dead, or lesbians. But maybe I should stop with all the sex jokes and stuff, this has gotten a little too dirty even for me. Oh well, itís not like any kids read these things.

Ah, good old ďBeefyĒ Burger. This guyís got a lot of problems. First off, heís always on fire. Why? Nobodyís sure, but it is quite odd. Secondly, his name is in quotation marks, suggesting that heís taken on a false name. Now why would he do that? The general consensus is that he is the one who shot Charlie full of holes. Why he changed his name we donít know, as there are no cops in Hamburger Town. Well, therís that one guy, but heís too busy chasing the Hamburglar. And there arenít any other ĎBurgersí there either. Did he really think changing his name would fool anyone? It didnít fool me.

Linda Lettuce. She seems quite happy and normal on the tiles, but take a closer look at the box and center of the board. Itís plain to see that she is glaring rather seductively at the tomato. Now this really doesnít seem so bad, but wait Ďtill you hear this; the tomato is a chick! That means only one thing. Linda is a lesbian. No bones about it. And itís always at the tomato, too. At least sheís not a tramp like Marsha.

Our last character is Theresa Tomato. Not only does she have to deal with constantly being hit on by Linda, but sheís also got quite a physical load to bear. Sheís a plumper, and itís impossible to deny. The fattest resident of Hamburger Town. Thatís quite the title to have, and it probably wouldnít be so bad if she was a guy, but sheís a chick and they seem to have some kind of severe problem with having even the slightest bit of fat on her. I guess she might be attractive to other tomatoes, but alas, she is the only one and must deal with the disapproving glares of all the other foodstuffs. Did you know tomatoes are berries? Poor Theresa. Sheís probably praying for death.

And thatís the whole crew. Theyíre some pretty farked-up foods, eh? Whatís that? Iím the one who made it all up so I must be the one with problems? Nah, that canít be. Remember, this was a team effort. I wrote this article all by myself, but a lot of the ideas came from my friends. Heck, I even drew a comic about it, and itíll be posted up somewhere eventually.

All in all, after playing this game a few times to bring back the fond memories, I can certainly say that itís even more fun that I remember. It might have something to do with the fact that I was playing with people other than myself, but I think it also had to do with the fact that itís so simple and fun after playing stuff like Monopoly for so long. Iíd certainly recommend playing this game to anyone. If only it wasnít so extinct. Sadly, my friends donít love it quite as much as I do, and after about a week, we moved onto Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. I wish I had a lot of my old gamesÖ

Well, thatís that. I guess itís time for the little conclusion/news thing I do at the end of every article. If you didnít pick up on it during the article, I really love the Hamburger Game, and so many other games I played as a child. They were a lot better back then, and more original too. I mean, thereís gotta be like 5 billion different versions of Monopoly out there, and at least 27 versions of Clue. And these are all that theyíre making these days. Iíd like to see some old board game remakes. Particularly the Hamburger Game, the Squirrel Game, and Rockiní Robins. Ooh! And Shark Attack, but I think one of my friends might still have that one.

So now that this is done, I guess Iíll move onto something new. I donít know what that something is, but Iím sure Iíll find it pretty soon. I plan to finish the 6-Foot 3-Pak thing in the near future, and itíll be in two installments, too, as the last two games are pretty huge in themselves. Valentineís Day is just around the bend, but that certainly isnít going to bring in any article material. Iím going on a trip soon, and with my soon-to-be-newly-acquired digital camera, you can expect pics of that to be up sometime. And with that, Iím done. Iíve passed 2500 words so thereís no more reason for me to hang around here.

E-Mail: Mr_Hotshot64v2@hotmail.com