Disparity Games have cooked up an interesting Indie title for the Xbox One with Ninja Pizza Girl. At first glance, you may be wondering what on earth you are looking at, unless you’re in the same frame of mind as me. Which is to say that your life is now complete now that you know this game exists just by the name alone. The small Australian Indie developer had an idea and with some help from friends and family, took the recipe and cooked up Ninja Pizza Girl. The end result is more a Meat Feast than Margherita.
So what exactly is this game all about? You are Gemma, a girl who delivers pizzas for her fathers Pizza business, with your nerdy little brother providing advice via comms along the way to deliver your pizza to the colourful cast of customers. But Disparity Games have delved deeper than just running from point A to point B. There is the evil Mega Pizza Corp out to stop you delivering your Pizza-riffic pizza, by employing the help of ninjas, who hurl insults your way, and are generally very mean. The customers all seem to have their own problems, from the 2 love birds who don’t realise the other has feelings for them, the woman who doesn’t like to go outside, to the transgender woman who wishes she was more woman like. All handled very well, especially the Trans woman scene. I have a friend who transitioned 10 years ago, and would be impressed with how this delicate matter was dealt with. But what impressed me most, was the issue of bullying that was highlighted throughout the game, including the end game message when Gemma finally realises what is important to her. Given I was bullied in school, I can relate to the issue raised within Ninja Pizza Girl.
There is a wealth of unlockable content within the game, which you can access by collecting QR codes and Recycling logos. You can unlock video games, artwork, new skins for Gemma, First Person Mode, Big Head mode, Double Jump, Interviews and more. I really like this developer, as they have given some informative insights about the game in the interviews and how it came to be. Not only that, but Ninja Pizza Girl is a fun game, and one with a meaningful message.
You not only get Pizza Delivery Mode which is where the story lies, but also a Speed Run mode with leaderboards to compete against gamers from around the world to see who is the best pizza delivery girl. You spend your time running across roof tops and balconies, smashing through wooden boards, jumping on strategically placed trampolines and the like to deliver pizzas and evade the nasty Mega Pizza Corp ninjas who are sent out to thwart and insult you at every turn. Not only that, but you also have a timer that counts down to beat. You get rated at the end, with a D being quite awful, all the way up to WOW, which is even better than an A+ and will require perfect execution of jumps, and full speed running without so much as a trip. You need to be on top of your game for the WOW rating.
Controlling Gemma is easy enough with regards to running and wall jumping. Attacking other Ninjas is as simple as jumping on their heads, or sliding into them. Level designs are set on top of and on the side of buildings, with various means of completing each level. You can take several routes, an there are also hidden areas where collectables lie in wait. Some will be out of reach until you unlock the double jump ability. Which becomes essential when you attempt your WOW ratings for each level. One issue I did have, is a lot of jumps you will find that you just don’t make it, and end up falling too far and this breaks the smooth and fluid run you have built up. You will know when this happens as you will have some dub step music kick in and run that little bit faster. You will often find that you make a jump with this happening. You wont die, or have to restart, but will have to tap the A button to get Gemma back on her feet again, costing you valuable seconds on your run.
There really isn’t much in the way of negatives to discuss, you get a good game for the price you pay, and plentiful content to unlock. The game does reach completion quickly though, which is a shame. But given there is a Speed Run mode and a chance to go back and unlock everything, including the WOW ratings, you will certainly get a few more hours out of it. All dependent on your ability to get through a level quick enough that is.
Graphically, it uses a comic book look to the cut scenes, with speech bubbles for the text-based narrative. In game graphics show the gloomy world with washed out colours, which suit the depression of a world dominated by the evil corporation you must over throw. Gemma’s animation does come over a little robotic, but given this is a first game for Disparity, I am willing to cut them a little slack. Something for them to learn from for future titles we will hopefully see. Musically, it is a very relaxed and ambient tone set from the menu music to the in-game music until you activate the dub step, which will gear you up and spur you on. Not a genre I like, but it fits the game, and helps with timing jumps to the beat.
Immediately playable from the get go, and with only 2 buttons to learn, you won’t find it a difficult game to play. The extra First Person mode makes it an interesting experience, and despite the name, it isn’t truly that. The camera is just behind and above Gemma’s head. But you get the jist of it. From start to finish of the story, will take about 2 hours at most. But if you decide to go for the full completion, maybe another 2-3 hours of game time is yours all dependent on your ability though. The asking price is justified however, as you get an interesting cast, and a serious message to boot.
To close up the review, you could do a lot worse with your money, and supporting an Indie developer is important, as there are some hidden talents out there, that deserve the support. Disparity Games is one of these. The touching message about bullying is an important one, as is the love of family and friends. I’d recommend Ninja Pizza Girl if you are in the market for an Indie game to add to your collection, given its unique persona. Just a couple of issues that drop the score for me, but nothing that will be a major downer. Relax and out your feet up while you dish out pizza to customers and justice to the evil corporation.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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