“Pizza Tower” is a perfect video game


Pizza Tower is a new indie platformer with fast gameplay and an abundance of charm. (Courtesy of Tour De Pizza)

Ian Lloyd, Staff Writer

After over five years of development, indie developer Tour De Pizza finally released their action platformer, “Pizza Tower.” The game was released Jan. 26 and has garnered a massive fanbase online. It has been widely praised for nearly every facet of its design, from the addictive gameplay to the 1990s-inspired cartoon visuals and humor.

You play as Peppino Spaghetti, an anxiety-driven, middle-aged Italian man who owns the restaurant Peppino Pizza. Pizza Face, a huge floating pizza, threatens to blow up Peppino Pizza from the neighboring tower near Peppino’s restaurant. Peppino must ascend Pizza Face’s tower, tearing down each level’s column as he goes, to make this sinister Pizza Tower collapse.

It’s difficult to describe how good “Pizza Tower” is because there is no other game like it. The only way I can accurately define it would be to call it a high-concept alt-rock Nickelodeon-core freak-style game. I couldn’t even tell you what that means, but that is exactly why “Pizza Tower” feels so fresh and unique.

“Pizza Tower” draws influence from 1990s video games. (Courtesy of Tour De Pizza; GIF by Ian Lloyd)

“Pizza Tower” wears all its influences on its sleeves. Its DNA is composed of early 90’s cartoons, 2D platformer games from Nintendo and brand mascots that jump around on pizza-destroying pogo sticks. It’s all wrapped up in a beautifully animated video game comprised entirely of MS Paint aesthetics. The game is only elevated by its balanced use of references, creating something entirely new and original.

This game might be the best comedy of the year. It had me dying of laughter during every level with its blink-and-you’ll-miss-it visual gags that make up almost all of the character animation. Each character’s personality and comedic moments are perfectly illustrated through “Pizza Tower’s” silky smooth animation. Make sure you have the pause button at the ready because you’ll be unable to breathe or pay attention after some of these truly hilarious moments of cartoon shenanigans.

The gameplay is fast-paced and as tight as a drum. It takes the high-octane energy of the classic 2D “Sonic” games and marries it with the brute force combat platforming of the “Wario Land” series. It sounds chaotic and messy, but in practice, it’s an addicting gameplay style that completely works. It’s easy to pick up for beginners, and it’s an even more rewarding experience for the pros trying to grab every achievement and secret.

“Pizza Tower” brims with visual gags, including its party system that poses you in a multitude of different ways. (Courtesy of Tour De Pizza; GIF by Ian Lloyd)

Every level has a different theme to their environments that always take the concepts presented as far as possible. One level has you traversing a desert that soon leads into a parked UFO, and another takes place on a mini golf course as you try to knock enemies into holes. The level of design and creativity in these stages never once gets old, and the number of genres “Pizza Tower” can shift into during the latter half of the game is absurd.

While each level is incredibly constructed in its own distinct way, the major highlight of them all comes at the end. Once you reach the final area of each level, you must destroy a tower column, which will trigger a countdown. You now have to rush back through the entire level as fast as possible while the game’s theme, “It’s Pizza Time,” blasts in your ears with its energetic melody. It’s the most nerve-racking yet satisfying aspect of the game that only gets better the more you progress and develop your skills.

During the final segment of each level, you have to race back to the beginning of the stage as fast as possible before Pizza Face wakes up. (Courtesy of Tour De Pizza; GIF by Ian Lloyd)

It’s not too often we get a perfectly executed game like this. Every single element of this game is operating on all cylinders, and it shows. It is practically exploding with creativity, humor and innovative game design.

“Pizza Tower” has already received the recognition it deserves, but this experience will live in the hearts of its fans for the next decade and beyond. If you’ve been hankering for a challenging gaming experience that will have you laughing your pants off every other minute, I implore you to give “Pizza Tower” a shot.