Good Pizza, Great Pizza – Review (2020)


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Game: Good Pizza, Great Pizza
Release Date: September 3rd, 2020
System: Nintendo Switch (iOS, Android, and Steam)
Genre:
Other, Strategy
Developed by: TapBlaze
Published by: PM Studios
Review Code: Yes
Reviewed by: Priscilla W.
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Good Pizza, Great Pizza developed by TapBlaze and published by PM Studios is an engaging strategy game that puts the player in control of bringing success to a brand new pizza shop in a city where pizza is everything. With a nemesis right next door; it is up to the player to make pizza that not only is a hit with the local crowd but also grabs the attention of an Illuminati-like group of pizza fanatics known as the Stewards of Sacred Ingredients who provide organic, new ingredients to pizza shops in the city – and more!

At the beginning of the game the player finds themselves in a bare bones pizza establishment that they have just opened. To make matters worse Alicante -a less than pleasant man- operates a successful pizza establishment just across the road and he is less than enthused by the opening of a new competitor. As time goes on and the news of the players delicious pizza spreads; there are new people to meet, groups to associate with and rivals to deal with. All of this whilst managing your bustling establishment and expanding the variety of pizzas on the menu.

Game play consists of characters coming up to the counter and ordering a pizza of their choice – some are surprisingly cryptic! Following this the game switches to the pizza counter where all of the toppings that have been unlocked are ready to be used. Afterwards, the pizza goes through the oven, is cut, boxed and delivered to the customer. The customers happiness rating quickly depletes during this process and it is quite the balancing act to get them a quality pizza quickly as disappointment often results in not only a smaller tip but a hefty refund.

Good Pizza, Great Pizza is clearly designed with a mobile phone in mind. It can be rather awkward trying to use a controller to get to the topping that you are after once you have unlocked all of them. Using the JoyCons are somewhat awkward at first as the right is used to choose ingredients and the left to actually place them on the pizza. The R button moves the pizza between stages – toppings, oven, slicing and finally into the box ready to be handed to the customer. It seems rather easy to accidentally hit the R button when still constructing the pizza which results in having to start all over again and losing money and time. A swipe of a finger would be much more useful here. This is also obvious when trying to place toppings neatly -at speed- on each pizza. As the Nintendo Switch does have a touch screen – it is a shame that this was not implemented at launch to make for a more seamless experience. Whilst not a deal breaker as such as the more practice one has the more likely they are to get used to moving toppings at speed; it can feel awkward at the best of times – especially when the game expands and allows you to make two or more pizzas at a time!

Earning money through sales and tips allows the player to upgrade not only the look of their establishment but also numerous useful quality-of-life upgrades. Such as: a toppings marker so that one always puts the topping in the correct location – resulting in a happier customer and larger tip. Each topping also has the option of unlocking a ‘buddy’ that puts the topping on the pizza for you. This saves a lot of time as making the pizza becomes more or less automatic the more that you unlock and combats the lack of touch controls mentioned above. Unlocking benefits such as extending the day to allow more customers and adjustments to how fast the happiness of customers decrease also have significant benefits to the amount that the player takes home at the end of the day.

I did encounter a significant bug during my time with Good Pizza, Great Pizza. On two different days when I wanted to save the game it would crash each time and I would be unable to do so. Thankfully, the game has an auto save feature which allowed me to go back and complete the glitchy day without saving until a few days later. Nevertheless, it was still rather inconvenient as the last aspect of the game that you want to encounter problems with is the ability to save. Overall it did not ruin any enjoyment I had whilst playing the game but it is still worth noting and at the time of writing it is a bug that they are aware of and patching it out.

I was originally incredibly excited to play Good Pizza, Great Pizza after receiving such a fantastic press kit. I generally do not play games such as this and so it was a new and exciting opportunity for me. I was surprised by just how much that I enjoyed Good Pizza, Great Pizza and I found myself playing much longer in each session than I initially anticipated. I would tell myself I would keep playing until I earn enough to pay for the next upgrade. Despite the lack of touch controls and the issue with saving on a few days; the game was what I can only describe as the perfect game to sit down and ‘veg out’ to. Before you know it morning will have turned into evening!

Final score: 7/10

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