It's safe to say that if you liked Burger Shop, you're going to love Burger Shop 2. The fast-paced assembly-line time management game is just as fun as the original and, like any good sequel, expands on the formula with additional levels and fun new twists like extra dishes, characters and trophies.
At the end of the first game you were on top of the world thanks to the BurgerTron 2000 machine, but by the start of Burger Shop 2 your restaurant empire is in shambles - and you don't know why. All you know is that you woke up one morning in a dumpster with a bump on your head to find that all your restaurants have been shut down and boarded up. When a shady character appears and offers to sell it all back to you for a dollar, you take him up on it. As you retrace your steps to try to find out what went wrong, you'll also rebuild each of your eight restaurants back up to their former glory.
The premise at first seems like a contrived and rather lazy way of all-too-conveniently making you start from scratch again - until you realize that the developers are in on the joke too. The story is peppered with self-referential humor and snappy dialogue that doesn't overstay its welcome and really makes you want to keep playing just to see what happens next.
The layout is the same as the first game: customers arrive at the bottom of the screen and your job is to their food and beverage orders by clicking on the correct ingredients as they're spewed onto a conveyor belt by the Burger Tron 2000. To serve a BLT sandwich, for example, you must click on the top and bottom bun halves, bacon, lettuce and tomato, then deliver the sandwich to the customer.
Serve customers quickly and they'll leave cash and big tips, but take too long and they'll storm off. By earning a certain amount of cash you can advance to the next level and even earn an Expert score. There are eight restaurants and 15 levels per restaurant for a total of 120 levels.
Like the first game, there's much more to Burger Shop 2 than simply serving sandwiches. In between levels you can upgrade your restaurants to serve fries, beverages, ice cream, condiments, and more. There are more than 100 different recipes to make in the game, and you'll always be adding one more upgrade to the shop right up until the last level.
The ingenious thing about the upgrades is that many of them do double, or even triple duty. Take the vanilla ice cream machine. You can fill a glass with ice cream then drag it onto the milkshake machine to make a vanilla milkshake, or fill a glass of cola with ice cream to make an ice cream float. Combine ice cream with a paper cup to make vanilla soft-serve, to which you can add sprinkles, a cherry, chocolate sauce, sprinkles with chocolate sauce, chocolate sauce and a cherry.... You get the idea.
Burger Shop 2 features new breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that introduce a ton of new foods and ways of preparing them. Breakfast plates include eggs, sausages, hash browns, orange juice and different kinds of cereal, as well as English muffins, toast and waffles that can be placed in the toaster one- or two-at-a-time. New dinner options include steak, pork chops and salmon that must be baked in the oven, various pizzas, and vegetables and pasta that have to be boiled. There's also a selection of soups, desserts and donuts.
Many of the customers will be familiar, but there are some fun new ones as well. The clown - with his crazy orders of vanilla ice cream with mustard on top, empty fry cartons and lettuce burgers - is still my favourite customer, but I also got a kick out of new customers like "animal lover," a highly impatient who can be placated by giving her dog a biscuit, and "shirtless guy," whose flabby, exposed torso offends other patrons until you can slap a T-Shirt onto him.
Although the pace is relentless, the control is exquisite and you'll never find yourself fighting with the mouse. There are some nifty tricks and short-cuts that you can use to make the controls feel even smoother, all of which are clearly explained in tutorials. The game's graphics and audio are equally enjoyable.
Once you've completed Story Mode's 120 levels, there's still plenty to do. You can go back and try to beat your score on individual levels, try the more difficult Expert mode, play Challenge Mode to see if you can achieve a Gold rating in every restaurant, or chill out in Relax Mode where customers never get upset. Trophies you've earned along the way - 120 in all - can be admired at any time in the Hall of Fame.
As long as you don't mind your time management games a little on the frantic side, Burger Shop 2 is a must-download.