NewsUpcoming Games

Talking ‘Burrito Bison’: Where It Came From And When It’ll Hit

Burrito Bison is one of the thousands and thousands — if not millions — of web-based games available on the Internet. You can try the popular “fling” game now with a mouse for $0, or soon you can give it a go on your favorite Apple handheld for a price.

My eyes gloss over when I peruse flash game libraries. There are a lot of games with great ideas, but rare is it when you stumble upon a title that has the mega important hallmarks of a solid game: coherent vision, polish, and sharp execution. I can count on my fingers the number of titles that fit this bill.

Burrito Bison is etched on fist. It’s a solid, realized game that I’m excited to see come to a platform and a wider audience. I got into contact with game creator Juicy Beast late last week to talk about the inspiration behind the title, as well as some specifics about the iOS port, which is slated to come later this summer.

One nugget from our conversation in particular sticks out — Burrito Bison was once a side-scrolling action game similar to Monster Dash [$.99], one of its key inspirers.

“The game actually started out as a ‘run & jump’ type of game, similar to Monster Dash by Halfbrick,” Juicy Beast told us in an e-mail. “We really wanted to give it an interesting twist, so we tweaked it over and over until we were happy with the results.”

“The thing is that it took us around two months of prototyping before we felt like the game was really fun. As you can see, it changed a lot from its original ‘run & jump’ [vision]. “Most people probably think that it started out as a ‘throwing’ game, like Toss the Turtle or Berzerk Ball [$.99], but it didn’t, even if the final results are far more similar to TTT than Monster Dash,” the studio explained.

But where did the Mexican wrestler theme come from? I’d call it an accident. As for how gummy bears got involved… well, let’s just say that candy doesn’t make the same kind of mess that humans do when its squashed.

“As I mentioned, the game started out as a ‘run & jump’ type of game, and the theme was supposed to revolving around ‘Heavy Metal.’ We had our kickass metal head guy (kind of similar to the Brutal Legend dude) and the direction was pretty set at the beginning. While sketching some stances for our hero, J-P (our lead illustrator) started dressing our little guy as a Mexican wrestler (which was really funny),” Juicy Beast said.

“Later on in the development process, when the game wasn’t a “run & jump" anymore, we decided to switch the theme to something that would fit the actual gameplay better. We then remembered the Mexican wrestler and decided to go with that instead.

“The gummy bear theme came from the idea of literally smashing people without having actual gore elements popping everywhere (blood/guts,etc). We then though of gummy bears, since they can be brought to life easily, and yet still die in explosion without any gore stuff! No need to mention that we usually end up with some pretty twisted stuff regardless of this kind of ‘guidelines.’ “

Juicy Beast says that Burrito Bison was built with iPhone in mind the entire way. Juicy made the fact that it would hit flash markets first a challenge: it wanted a game that could do well in both markets, despite the lead platform.

Mission accomplished. Burrito Bison is simple enough to play in a browser, while still offering the depth that iOS users expect to have come this summer when the game hits virtual shelves. Much like Berzerk Ball, Burrito Bison offers a suite of upgrades that you can purchase with in-game cash earned from playing the title.

Summer 2011 is as close as we can get to a release date. Nothing is set in stone quite yet and that includes the price. Juicy Beast tells us that while it doesn’t know what it wants to charge, it does plan, however, to make Burrito Bison a Universal game.

And there will be new “stuff” in the iOS version, however, you may not be able to get your hands on what will be added at launch:

“The current Flash version is currently being ported by Ravenous Games, but we’re working on some potential new features at the same time (as well as finishing some other games we’re working on). We’re not sure yet if the new stuff will be available at launch, but there will definitely be some new content in the iOS version.”

As for what’s next for Juicy Beast, the studio wouldn’t divulge. One foot before the other, though, right?