Anyone who has ever played a copy of an older Super Mario Bros. game will have no problem picking up the Pizza Boy iPhone game ($1.99) – it’s pretty much exactly the same.
That’s not really a bad thing. If you’re going to rip off a video game, you may as well rip off one that’s considered among the best ever. And Pizza Boy has its own endearing qualities, like a nostalgic 16-bit art style, a deep MiDi soundtrack, and an elegant gameplay style.
Pizza Boy is controlled using virtual buttons that appear at the bottom of the iPhone screen. Two buttons on the left control the Pizza Boy’s movements right and left, while two others on the right control jumping and attacking. Enemies are killed the same way as in Mario games, by jumping on them, and players receive score from collecting items and killing bad guys.
While Pizza Boy is fun game well-made in the old-school method, it’s not without its annoyances. For one, it sometimes feels a little repetitive, though it stays challenging.
Another frustrating issue is a practical one. Platforming games like this one are about precision movements, but the virtual buttons make it really hard to be precise, because you’ll often find yourself accidentally pushing the wrong button and moving in the wrong direction. Expect to accidentally run off many a cliff.
Pizza Boy does such a great job invoking great games of the past, though, it’s easy to recommend it despite its shortcomings. It’s a fine platformer and lots of fun.