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Developer: Riverman Media LLC

Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

A series of absurd mini-game platform challenges, Pizza vs. Skeletons is one of the strangest – and yummiest – casual games on the App Store. Suspend disbelief and jump in, this silly action title has more variety on the menu than Pizza Hut and Dominos combined.

The games pits the player, a giant pizza, against the skeletal remains of humans and the odd beast in short levels. Don’t try to make sense of it, just roll with the dough. There is no backstory, only simple instructions. Use a combination of tilt controls and one-tap jumping to keep the pizza safe from anything sharp on the level.

The game starts with a pepperoni pie rolling into or jumping and tilting over skeletons holding spears. The pizza needs to crush the bundles of bones by rolling into or jumping onto them without hitting the spear point. Simple right?

But, master that dynamic and suddenly the pizza is rolling down a ski hill following a coin trail, dancing atop a giant skull, saving puppies, or rapidly consuming fish skeletons. Just when I was certain I’d seen everything the game would throw something new and wonderfully bizarre at me.

There are Sumo wrestling boss battles, which are slow-paced compared to the regular action and a bit of a hit or miss when it comes to strategy, but the other levels are zippy and full of challenges, however ludicrously or sublimely dressed.

My only problem with the game is, well, I really don’t like pizza. But that’s ok, with money earned players can dress their pizza with mushrooms and sausage, or morph it into anything from a snowflake to an old tire and add toppings like beetles and Ben Franklin. Yes, you read that right, and it’s this delicious nonsense that makes the game a standout.

With all that customization, the attention to graphic detail is not just on the pizza. Each level is actually beautiful – not an adjective used often to describe death matches between sauce and bones – but they are lush and look hand painted and the attention to every detail is striking.

The controls work so well they don’t really seem like controls at all. And, the tilt can be calibrated easily. The only real issue with the game is it can become repetitive after 100 levels, but this isn’t the kind of game you sit down with for hours. It’s a perfect pick-up-and-play game packed with silly charm.

Pizza vs. Skeletons is what I love about reviewing. In an endless queue of redundant concepts out pops a game that is utterly unexpected, irreverent and loads of fun to play. Expect this one to be a long-time hit and to spawn many cheesy copycats; it’s just that tasty.


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