PAX East 2015: First Impressions—Ninja Pizza Girl

PAX East was truly a veritable feast of indie games for the Wii U. So many varied approaches to gameplay and storytelling, but one which really stood out from the pack for its willingness to tackle a serious, contemporary issue is Ninja Pizza Girl from Disparity Games.

It’s a fast-paced platformer, featuring the player as a teenage girl named Gemma. Gemma delivers pizzas for her father’s pizza stop, and the initial demo gives players only a few minutes to deliver a pizza to its intended destination before it gets cold. Gemma parkours her way across buildings, up and down balconies, and over platforms to reach higher levels and traverse the terrain.

After the first pizza delivery, things take what seems to be a silly turn at first—pizza ninjas from the rival big-name pizza stores! And since you don’t have any weapons… it’s time to run. And you’d better be fast, because if you get hit by any of your rivals, they’ll attack you with something unexpected: Words.

Essentially, your enemies in this game are bullies who insult you and laugh at you when you get knocked down. The more frequently Gemma is insulted, the more difficult it is for her to get up—her confidence and willpower falter, draining as the bullying increases. The world around her becomes dreary and the color scheme gray. If you get further away from the bullies, however, the world starts to return to normal.

It’s a unique and fascinating bit of social commentary within a platforming game—and while it’s not beating you over the head with the issue, it certainly makes you stop and think about what’s happening as you set down the controller for the day. And that’s got to be a good thing.

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Faith
Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

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