Monday, February 9, 2015

Indie Impressions - Pizzarian


Now Available on Steam (also on

Developed by Alex Jedraszczak

Being the CEO of an up-and-coming intergalactic pizza joint is no easy business, especially when you're up against the likes of conglomerate pizza pioneers like Big Pizza. Pizzarian is the story of one small pizza business and its rise into the glamorous yet dangerous life of intergalactic delivery service.

You'll be faced with managing your pizza stock and ship upgrades, with the perils of the planetary orbit and the traffic of space highways that flow with them, and with making every piping hot order of cheese-y goodness arrive to their destination in an orderly fashion.

The high-speed deliveries you make are broken up into two separate arcade-inspired sections of dodge and shootem'up action, with management of your ships and upgrades inbetween deliveries. Using hard earned money on new ships is crucial to extending your future trips and making sure you hit each delivery target with utmost precisions, and ships themselves come with a variety of badass retro references ranging from ships likened to the Vic Viper from Gradius to weapons humorously taking after the Nintendo Zapper remembered so fondly.

With such rapid forays into bite-sized arcade stages Pizzarian is the kind of game you can pick up for a few minutes at a time, but thanks to the progressive nature of growing your ship and business is also easy to zone out on for much longer.

The claustrophobic and nerve-wracking traffic in Pizzarian is, as you'll soon find out, not much different from the real world. The rage inducing flow of slow moving trucks and various jerks cutting you off shows no end, and the only way to survive is to be a jerk back. Cutting off all four corners of another driver is, while a dick move, the surest way to prove your space superiority and earns you the highest boost to your "Cool" meter. The road rage runs high as you rush to swerve and cut off any unsuspecting opponents of the road while the warm buzzing of nostalgic chiptunes drives your high-octane car dodging.

Once you've survived the quick and heinous traffic section you stop off at your first selected planet in a very Xevious-like top-down vertically scrolling shoot'emup section, where instead of shooting enemies with bullets you try to accurately fire steamy hot pizzas into the homes of your loyal and waiting cosmic customers. The deeper into the galaxy you go to visit these hungry planets the more planets you discover, appearing on your map for future runs to extend your trip and allow for even crazier pay to save up for those super sweet ship upgrades.

The game super charming, and too addictive for how simple it is. The fact that the pizzas you deliver cost you your hard earned money that you could be using on upgrades makes every shot at every customer that much more crucial, and the stunts you pull off for increasing your "Cool" meter and in turn gaining more cash for upgrades so much more rewarding.

With a great retro style featuring multiple color schemes, some seriously groovy 8-bit music (I've had the map system music stuck in my head for a week), and a great sense of humor Pizzarian is a game with tons of variety packed into one nostalgic arcade trip. And even if you aren't a super retro enthusiast, it offers some of the quickest blasts of condensed fun for a ridiculously modest price making it the absolute perfect coffee break game.

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