Pizza Tower by Tour De Pizza
The oft-forgotten Wario Land franchise was one of Nintendo’s more interesting experiments. A platformer series where death wasn’t a factor, but instead the platforming was treated more like a puzzle, entreating you to find hidden items while also escaping a level before time ran out.
The folks at Tour De Pizza cite Wario Land as the core inspiration for their indie debut, Pizza Tower. However, this game isn’t content to simply reimagine its influences: it improves upon them in every conceivable way.
Beleaguered pizza chef Peppino Spaghetti’s business is struggling. The cause? The eponymous Pizza Tower that threatens to run him out of town. Of course, the only solution is to enter the tower itself and tear it apart from the inside.
Pizza Tower’s absurd premise is complimented by some jaw-dropping presentation. Nearly every frame of the game feels like something ripped straight from ’90s cartoons, and both the quality and amount of animations on display are staggering. The writing is also as absurd as its premise suggests.
However, Pizza Tower would be nothing if the presentation was the entire show. On the surface it follows the aforementioned Wario Land formula to a T. There are collectibles to find, platforms to jump, and hazards to traverse, with no risk of dying to the game’s myriad enemies. Each level inevitably ends with a frantic dash to the beginning as a timer ticks down and a score based on your performance.
While nothing new on paper, Pizza Tower’s execution makes the gameplay nothing short of incredible. A developer-described “surprisingly agile and powerful fat balding Italian,” Peppino is an absolute joy to control. Between his dashes, slides, wall-running, and super jumps (just to name a few), he sometimes feels less like Wario and more like Sonic the Hedgehog.
Levels blast by at a satisfying pace, helped in no small part by composers Ronan “Mr. Sauceman” de Castel, ClascyJitto, and Post Elvis’s frenetic, shredding soundtrack.
The game’s aforementioned lack of death might lead some to think Pizza Tower isn’t challenging. Quite the contrary; what it really does is provide a low skill floor to compliment its high skill ceiling. Getting through a level the first time is straightforward and fun, regardless of how you do.
However, to achieve the coveted “P” ranking at the end of a level, combos from killing enemies need to be kept going. The best way to do this is by never slowing down, and learning to perfect each level is where the real Pizza Tower begins.
Speedruns of this game are going to be wild to watch.
If it wasn’t obvious by now, Pizza Tower is a hell of a good time. For about the cost of a large pizza, you can get a game that’s guaranteed to keep you engaged for hours as you try to perfect your playthroughs. How can you say no to that?
Pizza Tower is available via Steam.
Watch the trailer for Pizza Tower below: