Burger Up Review – A Towering Stack Of Deliciousness

Burger Up
Rule & Make
Matthew Parkes
Stephen Gibson
Delicious burger-based set collection

Burger Up is a simple, attractive set collection game about making the most mouth-watering sandwiches you can.  Though it is assuredly a table-hog (as any good meal should be), its straightforward mechanisms and accessible gameplay make it good fun at any player count.

Among those foodstuffs which can be considered nearly-universal in their appeal, right up there with pizza, tacos, and ice cream, burgers are truly awesome.  And in Burger Up, each player takes on the challenge of designing and constructing sandwiches to order, competing to build the biggest pile of profits by strategic ingredient acquisition and deployment.

Jess:  In other words, make huge burgers for fun and profit!

Within the box, all the goodies you need to make a burger empire…and plenty of extra space, besides. Still, there’s at least one expansion, so that’s ok.

Josh:  Profit indeed!  Delivering burgers into the hungry mouths of your clientele and you’ll be rolling in cash, which is the measure of victory inBurger Up.

Jess:  Yep!  And though they aren’t actually my favorite food (tacos, for the record), burgers are indeed delicious and amazing – andBurger Up is all about stacking your burgers for victory!

Get that sweet burger money!

The Burger Up setup is quick and easy – each player gets two plates upon which they will build their burgers.  A market of 3 ingredients is set up alongside the draw pile, and then a number of Top Bun cards get randomly set up depending on the number of players.

From these plates will you stack your deliciousness.

Jess:  Top Bun?  Oh yeah! I feel the need…

Andrew:  Please don’t-

Josh:  The need…

Andrew:  I’m asking nicely that you please don’t-

Jess & Josh:  …TO FEED!

Top Buns are what people crave. Heh, buns.

Top Buns are effectively the requested burgers on order.  Each of them will specify a different set of requirements needed to fulfill that order and claim the cash.

Sometimes these are additive – the Garden Delight just needs 4 different Salad ingredients; which Salads, or whatever else gets added is entirely up to you!  Sometimes the requirements are restrictions – the Vegan, for obvious reasons, can’t be made with any animal products.

The ingredient market is open for business.

But frequently, it’s a combination of both requirements and restrictions, as in Breakfast To Go, which needs Bacon, a Fried Egg, and cannot be larger than a ‘sandwich’ (Burger Up divides its sandwiches into scoring/scale categories, the bigger, the better).

Ingredients are added to burgers up to 3 at a time (4 if you choose to upgrade your restaurant).  Each ingredient card is 2-sided and can be used as either ingredient (but not both!), and each one has a requirement for what comes after it in the burger build.  For example:

See how each ingredient has a symbol in the top-right corner? That’s the type of ingredient which must come next.

Jess:  Clever stacking is critical if you are to savor the flavor of victory!  Since each ingredient dictates the following type, you’ll need to be mindful as you build your burgers and keep an eye on those Top Buns – you wouldn’t want to get backed into a corner and be forced to add an ingredient of a type forbidden by an order.

Josh:  True, but in most cases, the bigger the burger the better the payoff.  Since you get more coin the taller your stack is, you’d be wise to pile on those fixin’s!…unless the Top Buns call for a more modest meal, of course.

Middle buns don’t count toward a burger’s size, but they are wilds, and can be played over *and* under any ingredient type.

Andrew:  Now, everyone is taking turns, gathering ingredients and building their sandwiches, but in all actuality,Burger Up is a race.  Only 3 Top Bun cards will be available at any given time, so everyone is working towards the same limited goals at once.

As soon as someone grabs a bun and completes their burger, a new Top Bun will come out.  If you’re lucky, you may still be able to use the sandwich you were making to complete one of the available orders, but sometimes, you get stuck with a sandwich no one actually wants.

Josh:  You can also use your spatula to move ingredients around a bit, but you can’t rearrange the stack itself, and you’ll really want to avoid using it if you can – an unsullied spatula is worth precious points, and can only be used twice, regardless.

Spatulas let you move your ingredients a bit, but only twice per game.

Burger Up is a great little game.  The art is great, the concept is fun, gameplay is smooth, and it works at any player count.

Josh My only real complaint was the fact that I actually had a little trouble keeping track of how many ingredients were in any given burger – the top ingredient shows both halves, and I sometimes accidentally counted the topmost ingredient when i really wasn’t supposed to.

Jess:  That ingredient is upside down!

Josh:  I know, it just confused me sometimes.

Andrew:  My only issue is just how big everyone’s burgers got.  The stacks were huge, and we quickly ran out of table!

Jess:  Hah, yeah, at one point, we were building our burgers sideways for lack of space.

I mean, come on.

Jess:  Now there’s a burger joint concept.  Siders.

Andrew:  Like Sliders, except…?

Josh:  Spilled all over the plate, obviously.

Jess:  Hey, it’s still a burger.  People will eat it up.  Or sideways.  Whatever.

Burger Up is a delicious little diversion.  For anyone looking for a filler with just enough bite to keep you satisfied (ok, that’s enough food-language for one review), we heartily recommend checking out Burger Up!

(Gameosity was provided a review copy of this title.  We were not otherwise compensated.)

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