Pizza Tower is One of the Best ‘Nintendo’ Platformers Ever Made, and It Isn’t Even on the Switch

Is it too early to discuss the Game of the Year?

by Shaun Cichacki

With all of the talk about the upcoming Mario movie, Italians are once again in the spotlight, ready for their moment to shine. However, it seems that a new chubby, capped, and mustachioed mascot is working his way up the Steam charts, and quickly finding a home in all of the player’s hearts.

Peppino Spaghetti, the main character of the surreal adventure Pizza Tower, is just your typical man. He’s handsome, a slight bit portly, and is currently struggling to keep his Pizzeria afloat. Not only that, but a man made entirely of pizza, has a giant laser pointed at his place of employment to blow it up. No pressure or anything, right?

However, it isn’t the madcap story or excellent quality animation that makes this game excel how it does. It’s the pure inspiration that it takes from the oft-forgotten Nintendo platformer Wario Land 4 that makes this title shine bright like a greasy pepperoni, straight out of the oven. Not only does it cook all of the best parts of this franchise into a perfect pie, but it also snags some inspiration from other titles of the era.

Peppino Spaghetti Is The Defacto Italian Now


You ask any video game fan what they think of when you say the word Nintendo, and the first words out of their mouth will likely be Mario. The adventures of this particular plumber have been running on for over 40 years, so maybe it’s time for him to take a step back and let a new leader take control.

As you jump into Pizza Tower, the bones and similarities start to sink in. With a structure like Wario Land, even down to the “Hurry Up!” segments that the game is so well known for, you may think you’re in for a fairly standard ride that involves jumping, bashing, and smashing your way to victory. But you’d be wrong, so incredibly wrong.

You’ll find that Peppino is capable of speeding through stages like Sonic, and using the Shine Spark from Metroid, posing, breakdancing, and racking up ridiculous combos that will help propel him and his pizzeria into the Video Game Hall of Fame. As the debut effort for developer Tour de Pizza, this title has easily put the most recent 2D Mario games to shame without even batting an eyelid.

Rather than depending on powerups and a few small secrets, Pizza Tower challenges players to search high and low using a massive variety of traversal methods, thrown together with one of the most stellar soundtracks available in any game on the market.

It’s hard to not gush about everything that this title brings to the table. The madcap animation style is reminiscent of old Michael John Kricfalusi cartoons such as Ren and Stimpy, the sound design is impeccable, levels that encourage exploration, endless speed running capabilities, and so much more. Tour de Pizza has delivered more for platforming fans in their first attempt than Nintendo has in almost 20 years.

I Cooka Da Pizza, But Not On My Switch

Everything about this title delivers upon a specific player. For those hoping for a stellar platforming experience, it’s right here. Those that love all things strange and weird? Check it out now. A big fan of speedrunning and going fast as hell at any given point? Your new obsession. Ever since stumbling upon the Steam Trailer, I’ve found myself obsessed with this title, as it scratches an itch in my brain that has been dormant since completing Neon White.

It seems like the perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch, being able to take a challenging, yet strangely accessible, platformer on the go is always something great. Maybe Nintendo is scared of Peppino Spaghetti and the irreversible damage he’s done to the Italian Man Platformer genre? Either way, Pizza Tower is something that all platformer fans shouldn’t skip out on, for countless reasons.

Pizza Tower is available now on Steam.

- This article was updated on February 10th, 2023