Developer: Secret Library
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Cool Pizza is a tough game. It’s not a cheap game, in terms of its difficulty, but it will challenge its players. With a retro appearance and retro difficulty, Cool Pizza won’t be for everyone but it certainly has something about it to make it worth taking a look at.

The App Store description refers to the storyline that isn’t really noticeable while playing. “A girl and her haunted skateboard dive through the depths of the underworld.” Yup, it’s that kind of game. What this means to the player is that they’re controlling a girl on a skateboard as they attempt to dodge the fire of some evil monsters, while also leaping in the air to karate kick them to death. It’s as bizarre as it sounds.

Controls are of the tilt variety and, surprisingly, they work very well. It might make playing it while on the move a little tricky, but they fit into the game nicely. Tilts dictate the direction in which the skateboard flies, with the objective being to glide towards ramps which propel one into the sky. Repeatedly tapping the screen then initiates an attack which, hopefully, takes out the flying foes overhead. It’s as simple as that. Except, of course, the enemies fight back and they fight back hard.

With a difficulty curve akin to an 1980s or 1990s game, a ton of practice is needed to truly master Cool Pizza. Trial and error is important as well as memorizing the patterns of attack. This makes for a divisive title. One that old school gamers will adore but those, more used to recent releases, might shy away from. Embrace that challenge, however, and it’s satisfying to fight through Cool Pizza and last that brief time longer than before. Even if there is that sense that it could have done with more structure, such as a selection of challenges to aim towards.

Combos can be accrued and enjoyed, but ultimately the challenge from Cool Pizza is attempting to traverse the 42 waves of attack. Don’t expect to do it any time soon, but do enjoy the old school challenge along the way.

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