Review – Pizza Tower

The indie gaming scene loves to recreate and reboot franchises which have been since long forgotten by their original creators and/or publishers. Yooka-Laylee was a new Banjo-Kazooie. Skylar & Plux was a new Jak & Daxter. Bloodstained (not quite an indie, but point stands) was a new Symphony of the Night. I think we can safely add Pizza Tower to this list as well. For all intents and purposes, this hilariously gross platformer is the closest you’re going to get to a brand new Wario Land in this day and age.

Pizza Tower Peppino

Yes, it’s Wario Land, with an even more Italian protagonist.

The Wario Land franchise was quite different from a more traditional 2D Mario fare. Sure, there was a lot of jumping and item collecting involved, but those games were more about exploring levels for secrets and taking advantage of Wario’s massive size and surprisingly over-the-top speed to pummel enemies with violence, while rarely dying when being hit by them (you’d only get hurt while fighting bosses). Pizza Tower is the same thing. Just replace Wario for a pizza cook named Peppino, and replace the surreal art style from those games with some intentionally poorly-drawn visuals reminiscent of Ren & Stimpy‘s exaggerated “gross out” style. This is Pizza Tower in a nutshell.

Pizza Tower Knight

Not many games have the Pope included as an NPC. Even less when you only count the 2D platformers.

The core gameplay loop for Pizza Tower goes as follows. Pick a level, and reach its very end by beating enemies and solving puzzles which will, more often than not, be level-specific. Those puzzles usually revolve around a transformation found within a level, such as a suit of armor or a spicy-a meat-a-ball which grants you fire-breathing capabilities.

Along your way, try to rescue sentient pizza ingredients trapped in cages, as they grant you small money rewards at the end of the stage. These cash prizes are used to pay the entry fee for the world’s boss fight. Once you get to the end of the level, you need to hit an enemy totem, based on the game’s villain, which will trigger a timer. You need to now go back to the entrance of the level before the timer runs out, all while occasionally traversing through new areas due to the influence of the totem.


The animations are wacky, exaggerated, occasionally gross, 100% adorable.

Rinse and repeat until the game is over, with the occasional (inventive) boss battle thrown in the mix. Pizza Tower doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel that much. Even on the game’s Steam page, the developers state that the game was clearly inspired by Wario Land, aiming to be a spiritual successor of sorts, given how Wario’s only appearance in today’s day and age is starring in subpar WarioWare entries. Pizza Tower being basically Wario Land with a different coat of painting is not an issue at all. Wario Land games were known for being wacky, almost surreal in nature, and this game is no different.

Pizza Tower Fire

That’s a Spicy Meat-a-ball.

Pizza Tower looks and sounds like an acid trip gone horribly wrong. It seemingly unlocks the part of your brain which was dedicated to remembering episodes from Ren & Stimpy, as well as that characteristic, overly exaggerated art style. The game looks intentionally crappy, as if it was designed on Paint, but the gross out animations and sheer nonsensical designs were way too charming (yes, charming) for me to complain about. The same can be said about the wacky music and sound effects, even if their sound mixing was a bit flawed.

In fact, very little in Pizza Tower can be considered flawed. The few issues I had with it stemmed from the occasionally annoying level design, especially whenever the game wanted me to perform a super jump or wall hop in order to reach higher areas. Then there’s also the fact that, at the end of the day, Pizza Tower just isn’t very long. You can beat it in a few hours, the moment you get used to some of its more obtuse platforming techniques, just like the aforementioned ones.

Pizza Tower Bosses

Boss battles in Pizza Tower are awesome.

We know we are probably not going to get a new Wario Land anytime soon. As a result, Pizza Tower feels like a massive breath of fresh air. It took everything that worked in those games (excluding the portability, unless you’re a lucky Steam Deck owner), added in a truckload of funny, 90s-as-hell imagery, and dropped it into Steam like the homage we’ve been waiting for. It was a bizarre mixture between Wario Land and Ren & Stimpy that worked a lot better than I could have imagined. Some levels annoyed the hell out of me, and the game isn’t very long, but it was a pretty enjoyable ride until the very end.


Graphics: 8.5

It looks intentionally crappy, as if it was designed on Paint, but the Ren & Stimpy-like gross out animations and sheer nonsensical designs are way too adorable for me to complain about. It looks so silly it’s charming.

Gameplay: 8.5

Momentum-based, just like Wario Land. Controls are very responsive, but the level design occasionally makes things a lot more complicated than they should.

Sound: 8.0

The music was clearly inspired by the Wario Land games as well. For the most part, they were pretty good. The sound effects were also funny, but the sound mixing left a bit to be desired.

Fun Factor: 8.0

A bizarre mixture between Wario Land and Ren & Stimpy that worked a lot better than I could have imagined. Some levels annoyed the hell out of me, and the game isn’t very long, but it was a pretty enjoyable ride.

Final Verdict: 8.5

Pizza Tower is available now on PC.

Reviewed on Intel i7-12700H, 16GB RAM, RTX 3060 6GB.