Pizza Tower Review - IGN (2024)

The phrase “It’s Pizza Time” could cause a number of different reactions in your average person. Maybe it unlocks a memory of playing Turtles in Time at the arcade as a kid, maybe it makes you think of Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 2, or maybe you’re hungry and it just gets you excited for some pizza. But for me, as someone who just played through the eccentric and thrilling Pizza Tower, when I hear Pizza Time, my hands start sweating, my pulse quickens, and anxiety creeps in as that music starts to slowly build in my head.

The debut game from developer Tour de Pizza could most simply be described as a spiritual successor to the Wario Land series, but it’s so much more than that. The speed of its 2D platforming can rival that of even the fastest Sonic games, its unforgettable art style oozes love for 90s Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network shows like Ren and Stimpy, and it's absurdly packed with secrets and extra challenges. Then there’s the eclectic soundtrack, which expertly nails the unique theme and vibe of each of its levels, especially the anxiety-inducing main theme that kicks in at the end of every stage as you race back to the start to avoid getting killed by an evil pizza face. Not only is Pizza Tower an adrenaline-filled thrill ride from start to finish, it’s one of the most creative 2D platformers I’ve played in quite some time.

Pizza Tower keeps things simple as far as its story goes: You play as Peppino Spaghetti, the down on his luck owner of Peppino Pizza, who suddenly finds himself frantically climbing the neighboring Pizza Tower in an effort to stop the giant pizza in the sky from blowing up his shop with a laser. The art has an intentionally low grade look that generally seems like it was made in MS Paint, but it all somehow comes together to give Pizza Tower a strikingly unique look. Peppino himself is one of the most hilariously expressive characters I’ve ever seen, flipping between being an absolute nervous wreck, to a rabid psychopath as he bulldozes his way through lines of enemies, to a musclebound anime protagonist. It’s absolutely unhinged, and does a great job of emulating that 90’s cartoon style of characters constantly being drawn off-model for comedic effect.

Return to Wario Land

While Pizza Tower may get most of the inspiration for its mechanics from the Wario Land series, its levels adhere to the Sonic the Hedgehog mantra of “gotta go fast.” Peppino’s most important technique is the ability to start a dash, and once he builds up enough momentum, he's able to bulldoze his way through enemies, objects, and even walls without slowing down. Fans of Wario Land 4 in particular will be very familiar with this technique, but the big difference here is that Peppino can also maintain momentum while running up walls, allowing him to navigate through nearly every basic element of any level while continuously running at full speed. This essentially makes Pizza Tower feel like a modern version of Wario Land if it were developed by a speedrunner.

Pizza Tower feels like a modern version of Wario Land if it were developed by a speedrunner

Peppino’s other abilities are all designed to keep his flow going. He can dive from the air at a 45-degree angle and land with a roll that lets him continue sprinting, he can use a shoryuken-like uppercut get some extra vertical height on a jab while also hitting enemies above him, and most crucially, he has a dashing grab attack that can snatch enemies and allow him to turn them into deadly projectiles. That grab attack can also be used as a way to quickly gain momentum for a dash, making it so that even if your sprint is cut short by a hazard or straight vertical wall, you can get right back up to full speed almost immediately.

All of this amounts to a game that, when played well, has a speed and pace that rivals that of a Sonic game. But it isn’t just about hastily smashing through walls and plowing through enemies. Just about every single one of the 20 levels in Pizza Tower is built around some sort of creative central hook. Whether that’s a unique feature of the level itself – like the Five Night at Freddy’s inspired “Don’t Make a Sound,” which features enemies that will trigger an alarm if they spot you, chasing you down with the threat of a genuinely startling jump scare if you’re caught – or a unique power up that transforms Peppino and completely changes up his abilities. For example, in the level Pizzascape, Peppino can pick up a sword to transform into a knight in armor, which will cause him to slide down slopes, break metal blocks just by standing on them, and pierce through rats that otherwise cannot be killed.

Hurry Up!

The best trick Pizza Tower takes from Wario Land is a countdown that starts once you reach the end goal of every level, forcing you to quickly race back to the entrance in a limited amount of time. It’s not a simple retracing of your steps either – paths that were previously blocked off will now be open, and the route you initially took will very often be closed off. This frantic race to the start is made even better by the incredible anxiety-inducing theme that starts off like a warning siren and slowly builds before reaching an absolute fever pitch as the timer gets dangerously close to zero. It helps that the stakes during these final moments are high, because if you don’t reach the start before time runs out, you have to do the whole level again. It’s a punishing mechanic, but one where the intensity and relief of success is well worth the cost of failure.

Pizza Tower's best trick is a countdown that starts when you reach the end goal of a level, forcing you to race back to the entrance.

In addition to the main 20 levels, which are split across five floors of the tower, there are also a handful of truly great boss fights that do a wonderful job of exploring Peppino’s surprisingly deep moveset in entertaining ways. His taunt actually doubles as a parry, which adds a fun defensive element to each boss battle by giving him another way to avoid damage beyond jumping or quickly dashing out of the way. Several fights even give him a gun, like the second boss battle against the vigilante, making them almost Mega Man-like with the ways the boss arenas are structured and how you have to analyze the moveset and patterns of your foe.

Pizza Tower Screenshots

Pizza Tower is not a terribly long game, with my first playthrough running about five to six hours, but the levels feel endlessly replayable. That’s not only thanks to the fact that it’s just fun to try and master these stages and shoot for higher score ranks, but also because every level is packed with secrets. Each one has three secret bonus rooms, a hidden treasure that requires you find both a custodian and the door he unlocks, and a pizza portal that asks you to do an extra lap of the race back to the start to gain even more points on a level. If you’re able to find all of those things on a single run, you’ll gain the coveted “P” rank. It’s not an easy feat to accomplish, but it’s a fun challenge to undertake that will certainly add many more hours to my playtime.


Pizza Tower is a very special 2D platformer that transcends its inspirations and becomes something even greater. It’s a short ride, and it’ll be most appealing to those who are keen to restart levels in an effort to improve their score, but even if that’s not you, there’s a ton to like here. It is one of the most straight up fun and refreshing platformers I’ve played in recent memory, sporting an unforgettably unique art style, excellent animations, immensely rewarding platforming, wonderfully creative level design, a joyful sense of humor, and one of the best soundtracks of the year so far. Move over Wario, Peppino Spaghetti is-a number one now.

Pizza Tower Review - IGN (2024)


Pizza Tower Review - IGN? ›

It is one of the most straight up fun and refreshing platformers I've played in recent memory, sporting an unforgettably unique art style, excellent animations, immensely rewarding platforming, wonderfully creative level design, a joyful sense of humor, and one of the best soundtracks of the year so far.

What's so good about Pizza Tower? ›

Critics praised its gameplay, music, visuals, and humor. Critics favorably compared its art style to 1990s Nicktoons and the sense of speed to the Sonic the Hedgehog series. They considered it a worthy substitute for Wario Land, and some called it a rare spiritual successor that is better than its inspiration.

How long is the 100 percent Pizza Tower? ›

When focusing on the main objectives, Pizza Tower is about 6 Hours in length. If you're a gamer that strives to see all aspects of the game, you are likely to spend around 42½ Hours to obtain 100% completion.

Is Pizza Tower a kid friendly game? ›

This game was really fun to play. All levels are unique, really fun boss fights, pretty decent graphics, and a really epic ending! However, the only reason I played this game at all was because of a mod that made the game family friendly.

What is the easiest P rank in Pizza Tower? ›

John Gutter and Crumbling Tower are the easiest P ranks in the game but I am surprised nobody mentioned Wasteyard. I think Wasteyard is by far the 3rd easiest level in the game to P rank. Relatively short, simple gimmick that's no problem to control, only a few annoying areas that are easy to learn and master.

Is it worth buying a Pizza Tower? ›

Latest Critic Reviews

This is an incredibly fun platformer, with an great old-school taste, fantastic gameplay and even better level design.

What is the scariest level in Pizza Tower? ›

Pizzascare is the seventeenth level in Pizza Tower, and the first level of Staff Only. This level is a more horrific and harder version of Pizzascape, being a castle full of ghosts ruled by Ghost King.

Does Pizza Tower have an ending? ›

Meanwhile, the absolute minimum percentage required to get the true ending is 44% (44.52%) - the extra ~7% is gained by collecting all 19 of the Tower Secret Treasures, and completing the remaining stage.

Does time matter in Pizza Tower? ›

Pizza Time is normally the main requirement to opening a level's Exit Door and completing the level. Once Pillar John has been slain, the level immediately turns into a mad chase back to the beginning. A timer, varying for the level, will start ticking down, indicating that the player must escape as fast as possible.

Will there be a Pizza Tower 2? ›

No there will not be a pizza tower 2.

Is Pizza Tower difficult? ›

Pizza Tower doesn't have traditional difficulty levels. Instead, its difficulty is almost entirely self-serve. It's as hardcore as you want it to be. Peppino has inherited Wario's invincibility, so bumping into enemies only stuns him and hurts his combo meter (yes, there's a combo meter).

How to get Pizza Tower jumpscare? ›

Once the intro cutscene is finished, you will find Pepino Spaghetti standing in the dark, surrounded by several TV screens. If you stand here. and don't touch any button at all for about 35 seconds, you'll be treated to a jumpscare.

Is lap 3 real in Pizza Tower? ›

Lap 3 is a Pizza Tower mod, which adds an extra lap to the game.

How to get S in Pizza Tower? ›

As the others said, S rank only requires a high amount of points. You need to get the secret treasure and do the 2nd lap to get enough points for an S. Secrets and maintaining a high combo can be a mandatory requirement to obtain the points needed in some levels.

What is the C rank in Pizza Tower? ›

C-Rank. C-Ranks are usually given out when the player completes a stage with a mediocre amount of points, or when defeating a boss stage having taken 7 or 8 hits. In the rank animation, Peppino glances off slightly to the screen's right, looking exhausted, and says "That was bad." A big, green letter C appears.

What happens when you get all secrets in Pizza Tower? ›

Once the player has discovered and completed all secrets in the game, Secret Eyes will appear on every floor of the Hub. These eyes lead to a small Sound Test containing a secret eye for return and a level door to the Secrets Of The World.

Why didn't Pizza Tower win any awards? ›

pizza tower didn't win because more people voted for cocoon than pizza tower lmfao. the main demographic for pizza tower was little kids, who most likely don't know that the game awards are peoples choice, nor did they vote even if they did.

What is the scary level in the Pizza Tower? ›

Pizzascare is the seventeenth level in Pizza Tower, and the first level of Staff Only. This level is a more horrific and harder version of Pizzascape, being a castle full of ghosts ruled by Ghost King.

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