World’s Fastest Pizza tells a story as old as time itself. Tortoiseman escaped the destruction of his home planet of Tortopia and landed in Australia. Adopted by an affable bogan, Tortoiseman takes on the alias of Cornelius Pretorius and delivers pizzas for his adoptive father. It is Tortoiseman’s ultimate goal to defeat hunger and rebuild his spaceship with the help of pizza and super powers that he can buy at the nearby superpower kiosk. This is all, of course, told via silly, poorly captioned “cutscenes” that are as charming and funny as they are uncanny. If none of that makes any sense to you than congratulations! If it DOES, check for a gas leak, then take a moment to rally an surviving brain cells for a little review trip Down Under to a uniquely delivered, mechanically familiar roguelite.
Gameplay is pretty simple. Grab a piping hot pizza, get in the not-remotely-creepy-van-seriously-it’s-fine, and drive to a variety of colorful locations to deliver the pizza in under ten seconds (there’s more money to be made the faster you deliver). During each ‘mission’, you have to smash through windows and furniture, dodge cars/dogs/gun-wielding Aussies, and navigate different Australian-flavored labyrinths to deliver the pie. After three deliveries you’ll return to the pizza parlor to either dole out more cheesy justice or, assuming you’ve acquired enough money, buy some superpowers.
In the superpower kiosk you’ll have a choice between a random power for super cheap, or a more expensive but clearly visible power. These superpowers range anywhere from ‘helpful,’ to ‘counterproductive,’ to ‘unclear.’ There’s a bullet time of sorts that slows times when Australian denizens shoot, one that creates a mob of doppelganger Tortoisemen, and a… drill dildo (or drilldo) that allows you to pass through walls that would otherwise stop Tortoiseman dead in his tracks. Hypothetically you could even play this one through to the end without using a single power, but this is strictly for the hardcore pizza crowd. No achievements in this one so that’ll just be a personal achievement for you.
Music is fun in the same vein as Hotline Miami. It serves as a nice accompaniment to the mad delivery dashes, and is further accentuated by Aussie cursing, explosions, and the general cacophony Tortoiseman creates on his pizza runs. It can be difficult to discern what the angry Australian’s are yelling at times, and there are moments where NPCs will shout the same line and break the Matrix, but the sound design is otherwise well-executed.
The story progresses (THERE’S A STORY?!) to its natural conclusion (?!?) and… that’s it! You can continue to replay it but after an hour you’ll see every kind of environment/enemy/superpower there is to see. In this way, World’s Fastest Pizza doesn’t wear out its welcome. That’s not to say everything’s all peachy keen, however. In the fast-paced world of Pizza, it’s easy to get caught on textures, a bush, a person, whatever. Just as quickly as you’ll find yourself stuck on a bit of pixel, you’ll be killed near instantly by a deranged dog or a vocally anti-immigrant fellow. The super powers, as I mentioned, range from useless to useful – which is necessary in a roguelite for the sake of balance and replayability. There are very few powers as is, and less still worth saving your hard-earned cash for, and you’ll end up saving up for the same three or four OP powers and ignoring the others. There are boss fights now and then, but they’re all the same mechanically, and you die instantly if you so much as brush past the boss. Death, of course, means the game starts right over, which can be a bit frustrating – especially when it’s the last boss and you’ve had a near perfect run up to that point, and you’re just kinda-sorta clipped and killed instantly.
Then there’s the humor. You’ll either love it or hate it, like Vegemite. Lots of memes, lots of pop culture references, and much of it is Australian. Despite this reviewer’s less-than-healthy obsession with marsupials, he is not Australian and much of it went over his head, so your mileage may vary. For such a silly game there was quite a biting anti-immigration message, however, and that was a surprise… a bit more depth to Pizza than at first, second, and third glance.
In spite of its, at times, forced quirkiness and some minor niggles, World’s Fastest Pizza is a competent little roguelite. A little bit of Hotline Miami here, a dash of Binding of Isaac there and a whole lot of World’s Fastest Pizza. It won’t last you as long as the aforementioned titles, and it lacks that professional indie polish, but it still manages to be a charming, fun little distraction.
World’s Fastest Pizza was reviewed on PC using a Steam key provided by the developer.
A quirky little roguelite from Down Under; minor gameplay issues and limited replayability mars an otherwise fun distraction.