Life » Culture

The King goes digital

Looking at Burger King's Xbox 360 games


The King, Burger King's grinning, creepy mascot, is no stranger to videogames, having made a substantial cameo in Xbox 360 game Fight Night Round 3. But the recent release of Sneak King, PocketBike Racer, and Big Bumpin' (available for Xbox and Xbox 360) marks the first time the fast food royal has scored a series of games for himself. Surprisingly enough, these games don't entirely suck. But let's be honest --- they're still not all that great, either.

Sneak King plays much like Metal Gear Solid, but with burgers instead of hand grenades. As the King, you sneak up on unsuspecting people and surprise them with munchies while avoiding detection. For extra stealth, you can hide in bushes, truck beds and barrels --- even in piles of leaves. But as promising as this premise is, Sneak King's execution is flawed. Saddled with slow gameplay, a non-intuitive camera layout, and tiresome animations you can't skip, the game gets old very quickly. Only so many iterations of "sneak up on someone and surprise them with food" are possible before the idea grows tedious. Besides, philosophically speaking, there's something unsettling about advertising icons popping out of garbage cans to offer you food.

PocketBike Racer fares slightly better. The game is essentially a Mario Kart clone, with less cheer and more Subservient Chickens. While hunched over a mini-motorcycle called a pocketbike, you race other players around parking lots, suburbia, and the Fantasy Ranch. With good graphics and tight, intuitive controls, there's not much to actively dislike about the game, and multiplayer bouts are moderately entertaining. However, PocketBike Racer offers little substance or compelling reason to keep playing. The game is adequate, nothing more.

Of the three titles, the only one worth its $3.99 pricetag is Big Bumpin', a collection of Fusion Frenzy-like minigames concerning bumper cars. Despite the lack of cursors designating players (which makes it hard to determine who's who on the board), Big Bumpin' is relatively well designed. It's even fun to play. In particular, bumper car-based hockey is a riot. But be sure to ignore the single-player option; a game this silly should only be played in the company of others, preferably while intoxicated. If nothing else, Big Bumpin' should be good for a few guaranteed laughs. At least it won't make you hungry for Burger King.