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Pizza Boy

For: iPhone   Also on: Android

Slice of nostalgia

Product: Pizza Boy | Developer: Acne Play | Publisher: Acne Play | Format: iPhone | Genre: Platform | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Pizza Boy iPhone, thumbnail 1
Modern video game developers - iPhone and iPod touch designers, in particular - are mining the 8-bit era for all it's worth.

As potent as pixel-art and chip tunes are, though, it’s not just about copying an aesthetic. It’s about capturing the spirit of a magical time for many of us, when pizza-munching heroes dominated our TV and all we wanted to do after school was sit in front of the TV and make a cute little character bound from left to right.

Few iPhone games have honed in on this as explicitly as Pizza Boy.

It’s-a-me, Pizza Boy

To call the game a Super Mario Bros clone would be a little unfair, but it’s clearly a tribute. You take control of the eponymous fast food deliverer across three bouncy, colourful worlds where enemies need to be jumped on, strawberries collected, and hidden items discovered.

The controls feel remarkably tight considering their virtual nature. By keeping the direction, jump and throw commands separate from the action at all times, they never get in the way of pinpoint jumping.

There’s no avoiding the reality that virtual controls aren't an ideal substitute for a physical controller when it comes to classic games of this kind, but Pizza Boy features some of the best controls yet on a touchscreen device.

Thin base

Allied to some rock-solid platforming and tight level design that balances risk and reward superbly, you’ll want to see Pizza Boy through to completion. Unfortunately, that doesn’t take long to achieve.

There are just the three worlds, each comprising four modestly sized levels. You can't be blamed for wanting it to be at least double the size.

The nature of the levels, too, is a little uninspired. Not only do they subscribe to well-worn forest, ice, and fire themes, but they essentially look the same with different palettes applied.

While Pizza Boy is a hugely derivative and extremely short 2D platformer, it manages to replicate a 25-year-old formula with considerable confidence and style. By committing to the whole package rather than just pinching the aesthetic, it stands out among the other iPhone and iPod touch magpies.
Pizza Boy
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 16 September 2010
While it doesn’t win any awards for originality, Pizza Boy is a well-executed, if too short, tribute to classic 2D platform gaming
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