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Game Info:

Pizza Express
Developed by: Onni Interactive
Published by: Black Shell Media
Release date: June 25, 2015
Available on: Windows
Genre: Simulation
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $6.99

Thank you Black Shell Media for sending us this game to review!

Are you tired of eating crappy pizza?  Do you have an awesome idea for a delicious pizza?  Do you want to run your own pizzeria?  If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then you’ll probably enjoy Pizza Express.  In this retro themed 2D game you get to help your friend Gastone open up a pizza restaurant.  While his bank pays out a good interest rate every ten days, there is no credit.  In other words, if you go bankrupt, the game is over and you’ll have to try again.

In the beginning there are a handful of pizza recipes to choose from and some of them don’t even use cheese!  While eating cheese-free pizza is unorthodox, it does make the dairy intolerant customers happy.  At first there are not many ingredients to work with in regards to designing your pizzas, but as you progress in the thirty-day story campaign you’ll unlock them.  There are one-hundred and sixty Steam achievements and many of them are based on how many pizzas you make and how many calories you have delivered. 

Highlights:

Strong Points: Fun game with silly characters and dialogue; Steam cloud saves
Weak Points: Distracting retro graphics and music
Moral Warnings: Some name calling and casual use of the word hell

Making the pizzas is pretty straightforward and mostly involves dragging and dropping the proper ingredients into place.  If you hover over the ordered item, it will display the icons for the necessary ingredients.  Due to the pixilated graphics design, it’s not very obvious what the ingredients actually are.  When a pizza is completed you simply left click on it to send it to the oven or right click on it to scrap it if you messed up.  Speed and accuracy are key to higher grades for the works and the restaurant itself.  

Since your goal is to be a successful pizzeria, you must be profitable and recognizable.  Throughout the story you’ll be visited by several food critics and inspectors.  If you can make them happy your restaurant will be off to a good start.  Be sure to implement their feedback about menu choices and food quality.

Not only are you responsible for making the pizzas, you’re also in charge of all aspects of running this restaurant.  You’ll be handling the operating hours, décor, food vendors, and marketing.  There are good and bad forms of marketing.  Some of the cheaper methods like spamming people’s e-mail may get the word out, but not in a good way.

Pizza Express
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 72%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 5/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 95%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 7.5/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Like many restaurants there are busy and slow periods of time.    While it’s slow you can speed up the clock by pressing the 1-4 number keys.  As you’re making pizzas you’ll have to watch your inventory count and right click on items to re-stock them.  There’s a limit of three deliveries at a time so be sure to pace yourself accordingly.  The cost and arrival time of the deliveries depends on which vendor you are using.  The faster service has a higher cost.  

If you just like making pizzas, there are endurance and arcade modes to try.  The story mode is fun and has some silly characters and scenarios.  There are various scandals and choices that you make that alter your relationships with various people in the game.  There is some name calling and casual use of the word hell.

While I can appreciate some retro themed games, some titles like this one can overdo it.  I think better graphics would have made this game easier to use.  The chiptune music is catchy at times and has gotten stuck in my head.  I enjoyed some of the electronica styled tracks more than others.

In the end, Pizza Express is a cute game that is intentionally rough around the edges.  The gameplay is solid and enjoyable and I highly recommend it for those who really like pizza or restaurant manager type games.     

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About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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