Have you ever experienced something that was so strange, so bizarre, so off the wall that you just had to take a step back and wonder? Like Burroughs’ Naked Lunch or Sam Raimi’s early works, Pizza Vs. Skeletons from Riverman Studios can officially be included in the lexicon of weird. What can only be described as the fevered dream of a madman, this game is an oddity and an absolute joy to play.
You play the game as the eponymous Pizza, defending the lands from hordes of skeletons that rise every 1,000 years to terrorize and conquer. Throughout the 100 levels of the game, you’ll fight against skeletons with spears, cupid skeletons that shoot dangerous hearts, bird skeletons, and skeletons that throw their heads at you. And that’s just some of them. It’s your job to use your doughy might to roll over, crush, eat (yes, eat), jump on top of, and knock the vile creatures off of cliffs to their doom.
Meet your delicious doom.
The levels are incredibly varied and creative. Sometimes you’ll just be rolling from one side of the screen to the other. Different levels will have you propelling down snowy ski slopes, swimming through the ocean as a pizza-slice shaped fish, rescuing cute puppies from their bony captors, or swinging side to side like a wrecking-ball smashing the buildings your enemies are hiding in. You’ll often find yourself wondering just how in the heck they came up this stuff.
There are 10 ‘worlds,’ each with 10 levels, and at the end of each world there is a boss battle which has you trying to knock a gigantic skull off of a very tiny strip of land. You get awarded a maximum of three stars at the end of each level for achieving goals like killing a certain number of skeletons, not getting hurt, or doing things in a certain amount of time.
What’s the matter? Tired?
The controls are simple and elegant. You tilt your device in the direction you want Pizza to move, tap the screen to jump, and while in the air you can tap again to come crashing down to the ground, raining cheesy death to all who oppose you. Easy as, ummm, pie.
The graphics are equally elegant and beautiful. Pizza looks so good you’ll want to lick the screen, and the enemies are rendered in a goofy, ‘Evil Dead’ kind of way. You can even customize Pizza’s appearance by changing his ‘toppings’, giving him silly hats, and even just changing him from a pizza into something else entirely. Our final look for him was a car-tire dressed in a hula-skirt!
Pizza Vs. Skeletons is a real gem of a game. It’s creative, fresh, extremely fun and has an overwhelming sense of witty and dark humor. The only real downside is that 100 levels is a bit much. The game does start to get a little crusty towards the end. However, just like real pizza, even when it’s bad it’s good, and this is a truly entertaining slice of awesome.