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Pizza Tower Review: The Best Indie Game Of 2023?


Pizza Tower is a Wario Land-inspired platformer that charmed players with its fast-paced action, catchy tunes, and meme-worthy moments in 2023. Despite releasing alongside other popular games, Pizza Tower carved its niche with its unique flair and a passionate community.

Pizza Tower is a high-speed 2D platformer that strongly focuses on fluid movement, exploration, and achieving high scores. The game showcases vibrant pixel art reminiscent of '90s cartoons and has a dynamic and lively soundtrack. Imagine Sonic's breakneck speed blended with 90s Nickelodeon's rich, off-the-wall style. Next, throw in tons of secrets and a killer soundtrack that perfectly captures each level's unique vibe. This anxiety-inducing rush is all part of the charm. With this debut, Tour de Pizza establishes itself as a platforming master. Metacritic has given it an impressive overall score of 89.

So, if you're looking for a unique, adrenaline-pumping platformer with a dash of the absurd, look no further than Pizza Tower. Here’s everything the fans loved about this heart-pounding game.

From Wario to Sonic

cold peppino

Tour De Pizza, the developer behind Pizza Tower, openly acknowledges the game's influences, particularly its starring character. Peppino Spaghetti is a frenzied Italian chef renowned for barging through doors and obstacles in a blind panic. While Wario Land is a significant inspiration, Pizza Tower introduces its unique twists. It showcases Peppino's ability to reach Sonic-like speeds in certain sections, adding a distinctive flavor to the gameplay

The game embraces the tradition of Wario Land by presenting a somewhat nonsensical premise—navigating a colossal tower to collect anthropomorphic pizza ingredients. Although the narrative lacks coherence, it aligns seamlessly with the whimsical nature of Wario Land. The primary objective is to gather ingredients to unlock the game's bosses. These bosses are the only adversaries capable of inflicting actual harm on Peppino rather than merely disrupting his

combo score.

Striking Visuals

scared peppino

The visuals of Pizza Tower might look like they were drawn in Microsoft Paint. However, the animation is surprisingly well done and full of personality. This is especially true for the surreal, visually, and gameplay-wise inventive bosses. The final battle is possibly the most epic of any game this year.

The level themes range from wilderness scenes to sci-fi and fantasy, with no regard for the fact that you're supposed to ascend a single tower. But despite the unusual visuals and animation, the best part of the presentation is arguably the music. It's a wonderful mixture of retro and modern styles. The “It's Pizza Time” tune is an instant classic as it plays as you try to run back and escape at the end of a level.

Versatile Gameplay

peppino and friends

Pizza Tower delivers inventive and thrilling platforming. Every element shines, from the charmingly rough visuals and hilarious animations to the diverse-level themes that defy logic.

While Pizza Tower draws much of its inspiration from the Wario Land series regarding mechanics, its level design takes a page from the Sonic the Hedgehog playbook of “gotta go fast.” The essential technique for Peppino, the protagonist, is initiating a dash. Once he gains enough momentum, he can plow through enemies, obstacles, and walls without losing speed.

Peppino's skill set is expansive, featuring a versatile dash. This dash not only lets him crash through objects but also allows directional control at high speeds, including crashing into the floor to break obstacles below. Additional moves include an uppercut for higher jumps and a grab move for throwing enemies and swiftly building momentum for a dash.

The uniqueness of Peppino's invincibility, akin to Wario's, adds further depth. Whether set on fire or transformed into a walking pizza box, these states act as power-ups crucial for tackling specific enemies and obstacles.

Beyond the character's versatile moveset, Pizza Tower introduces many level-specific features. These range from donning armor and wielding a sword to having a chicken companion for gliding or engaging in pseudo-stealth scenarios to avoid enemy detection. The game's diverse and inventive elements contribute to its distinct charm and engaging gameplay.

In essence, Pizza Tower feels like a contemporary interpretation of Wario Land with the speed and precision of a dedicated speedrunner at the helm. With these exciting features, many fans hope that console ports are on the horizon.

Keep Your Eye on the Clock

peppino and crazy tomato

Pizza Tower adopts a noteworthy feature from Wario Land. It introduces a countdown that initiates once you reach the end goal of each level, prompting a rapid return to the entrance within a limited timeframe. This isn't a mere retracing of steps; previously blocked paths open up, and the original route often becomes inaccessible. The urgency of this homeward sprint is heightened by an anxiety-inducing theme that starts as a warning and intensifies as the timer

approaches zero. The stakes are significant during these final moments. Failing to reach the starting point within the time limit results in a giant flying pizza with a face aptly named Pizzaface coming down to chase you through the rest of the level to stop you and your progress. Notably, you lose points rapidly during this chase which proves detrimental to your overall score in any usual level. While this mechanic may be unforgiving, the exhilaration and relief of partial success outweigh the consequences of total failure.

The Riveting Boss Battles

In addition to the core 20 levels spanning five floors of the tower, Pizza Tower introduces a captivating array of boss fights that expertly showcase Peppino's surprisingly deep moveset. These encounters challenge players with entertaining and strategic elements and delve into the character's abilities beyond the standard platforming fare. Peppino's taunt, for instance, serves a

dual purpose as a parry, introducing an engaging defensive dimension to each boss battle. Some confrontations even arm him with a gun, reminiscent of Mega Man, elevating the boss arenas with structured patterns that demand careful analysis and strategic thinking.

Replayability and Secret Content

peppino fish

While Pizza Tower doesn't require extensive time commitment, your initial playthrough may take around five to six hours. However, its levels boast captivating replayability. The enjoyment stems from the pursuit of mastering stages, aiming for higher score ranks, and the abundance of secrets scattered throughout. Each level conceals three secret bonus rooms, a hidden

treasure that necessitates discovering a custodian and the door he unlocks, and a pizza portal prompting an additional lap in the race back to the start for extra points. Achieving the elusive “P” rank by uncovering all these elements in a single run is no easy task. Still, the rewarding challenge adds many hours to a gamer’s overall playtime.

Energetic Soundtrack

Pizza Tower’s energetic soundtrack complements the visual and gameplay elements. The music, inspired by the spirited tunes of the '90s, perfectly accompanies the fast-paced action. From catchy melodies to adrenaline-pumping beats, the soundtrack enhances the overall experience by immersing players in the game's dynamic atmosphere.

Some Important Information

Formats: PC

Price: $19.99

Publisher: Tour De Pizza

Developer: Tour De Pizza

Release Date: 26th January 2023

Age Rating: N/A

Join the excitement as you watch the trailer here:

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