Pizza Possum is a short and sweet arcade experience where your goal is to eat as much food as you can without getting caught
Product Brand: Raw Fury
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: $6.99
Product In-Stock: InStock
Lately, I’ve come to understand the value of casual games to mellow things down after a stressful work/gaming session. It’s precisely why I’ve gotten used to sneaking in 1-2 hours into games like Vampire Survivors and Dave the Diver at the end of each day. Life is hard man, and games make it better. Raw Fury and Cosy Computers probably had this in mind when they made Pizza Possum, an easy-to-grasp arcady stealth game where you put on the thieving shoes of a hairy marsupial who just loves himself some pizza. So what about it, eh?
Pizza Possum is an extremely easy-to-grasp game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. The gist of the game is basically this- you play as a very, very hungry possum whose stomach yearns for some classic pizza. Turns out that someone in the village is baking exactly that. Your job, as the player is to get our hungry possum to the pizza of his dreams…and also fill his mouth with anything edible on the way.
The entire game revolves around trying to devour as much food as possible without getting caught by the guard dogs patrolling the seaside village. Bread, fish, fruits, cakes, you name it, our possum friend can eat it. It sounds pretty simple and it really is. But it’s also fun. The village is separated into multiple sectors by locked doors. By consuming enough food, a meter fills up which grants you a key that can be used once on any of the locked gates. You get to the next area and do the whole process all over again. Rinse and repeat.
There wouldn’t be much of a game if our hairy friend could gulp down private property without any repercussions. The village is patrolled by various uniformed dogs who don’t take kindly to thievery. Upon spotting the possum, they’ll give chase and try to catch him. Once caught, the session is over and you’re booted back to the last checkpoint. However, Pizza Possum has a roguelite mechanic, in the sense that each food you eat fills up a meter that unlocks several items, that you can, in turn, use to evade the cavalry. These include a speed potion that temporarily increases your running speed, roadblocks that can be used to obstruct the dogs’ path, smoke bombs to blind everyone but you, a bandit mask that makes you harder to detect, and more. Once you unlock an item, they’ll appear randomly inside crates within the levels and you can only carry one at a time.
Furthermore, there are also bushes the possum can use as cover to throw the dogs off their tracks. Each time you get caught, you’re booted back to the last unlocked checkpoint. From there, you’ll have to start all over again since most of the gates reset. The requirement to unlock the key also goes up the higher your score and it also takes tonnes of food to unlock new items. So, the game can come off as a bit grindy. To negate this, all of the common food items respawn infinitely during a single run. Higher-tier food like the Caprese salad and Zeppole only spawn once per run. A run is successful if the possum is able to eat the titular pizza as well as steal the dog leader’s crown. Upon accomplishing this, the game resets to the first district and you’re tasked with doing it all two more times for extra rewards and to unlock the true ending.
Pizza Possum is quite short, intentionally so. I completed my first run in just two hours. Much like other casual games, Pizza Possum is best played in short bursts. The gameplay loop is relaxing thanks to its fast pace and pleasing audio-visual quality. The game’s clay-like 3D visuals, smooth animations, and catchy soundtrack go a long way to make Pizza Possum a joyous affair.
The addition of an excellent co-op mode via local multiplayer as well as Steam Remote Play really ups the fun of the game. I was able to get my girlfriend (who doesn’t really play games) to be my partner in crime and we had a blast. Moreover, the game runs perfectly on the Steam Deck, making it an extremely accessible portable experience.
What’s in Store?
There are a few areas for improvement in Pizza Possum. For starters, there is a desperate lack of levels in the game. The only level in the game, the seaside village is split up into a handful of districts and despite the subtle aesthetic change, they all feel the same and are designed the same way. I feel that if the devs could add one or two extra levels, it would boost the replayability of the game a lot. If these new levels also have their own gimmicks, it would be extra cool. Right now, there isn’t enough variety in the levels to warrant three playthroughs.
Furthermore, the presence of an online multiplayer component would also be a nice addition. I also could not get two controllers to work in local multiplayer. Maybe it’s supposed to be that way or maybe it’s a bug? Another addition I’d like to see is a button prompt to pick up powerups. It can be annoying when you accidentally run over a powerup you didn’t need and the possum automatically drops the one he’s been carrying. Just a QoL fix.
Pizza Possum is a well-crafted bite-sized game that largely succeeds in what it sets out to do- a stressbuster that you can play solo or with your spouse or kids in short bursts. Cute visuals, goofy sound effects, smooth animations, and a simple but engaging gameplay loop make this one a winner. Oh, and it’s reasonably priced too. The addition of more content will ensure that Pizza Possum gets more recognition than it does right now.
FINAL RATING: 76/100
Pizza Possum ReviewPizza Possum Review
- Chill and engaging gameplay loop
- Pleasing visuals and audio
- Easy to pick up
- Not much in the way of level variety
- Lack of online co-op is a missed opportunity