Turbo Pizza is like Diner Dash on steroids – it’s an arcade-like restaurant simulation for “seasoned” gamers as it gets insanely crazy.
In case you’ve never played Diner Dash and its many copycats (well, it can be argued Diner Dash is a clone of Beer Tapper from the ’80s!) you play as a restaurateur who must take care of patrons at a restaurant. This involves giving them a menu, processing their order before they grow impatient, picking up tips and improving the look of your surroundings with the cash you collect.
In Turbo Pizza, you play as Rebecca who decides to open a pizzeria in a rundown castle. Rather than seating customers at tables, they walk up to a huge round counter to give their order, such as a pepperoni, mushroom or cheese pizza, and a soda. When you see their order which floats above their head like a speech bubble, you walk over to your partner, Robert, who gives you the pizza to place in an oven. After the pizza is finished you hear a ding, take it out and give it to the customer. Other foods and drinks they may order include popcorn, coffee, cakes and such. If you pick up the wrong food you can ditch it in the trash can but will lose some cash from your daily total. Oh yes, similar to Diner Dash, you must make a minimum amount of money per day or else you need to repeat the level. More on this in a moment.
With the exception of drinks and dessert, all foods and drinks require at least one step before you get the item to serve to the customer: the popcorn machine must first be turned on; the ice cream must be scooped into a cone and the coffee must be percolated. Performing the same functions multiple times in a row gives a bonus, such as taking three orders in a row or carrying two ice cream cones. In some cases the customers will request multiple foods but you can only get them one at a time since one “speech bubble” overlaps the other.
As with Diner Dash, different types of customers come in, such as impatient knights on horses and guys that look like Robin Hood’s merry men (hey, the restaurant is in a castle, after all). Others include chubby men and women, headphone-wearing students, attractive bookworms, busy golfers and so on. After level 15 or so, some customers prefer food with different temperatures, and other twists and turns come into play, too. Oddly, every single customer is Caucasian, but I might be the only one who notices this.
At the end of each day you can choose how to spend your hard-earned cash, such as buying multiple ovens to expedite the cooking process, adding fancy new desserts to the menu, improving your waitressing skills by taking a course, fixing up the joint, and so on. Who knew buying premium soft drinks would cost $10,000 but repairing the floor is only $500? (Shouldn’t it be the other way around?).
Turbo Pizza probably sounds like fun – and it is. But it’s no, er, cakewalk. The game goes from simple to insane in one level (around level 10 or 11). Next thing you know you’ve got six impatient customers ordering food at the same time, who will all leave if they don’t get their eats fast enough. Even the mini-games are tough. After a few levels gamers will play a pizza-making game where they have to pluck ingredients off a conveyor belt to make the same pizza as premade ones, such as five pepperonis in a half-circle, three hot peppers in a row and four pieces of cheese. Not an easy exercise, I forewarn you.
Because of its difficulty, Turbo Pizza is perhaps better suited for serious players more than newbies who might prefer a casual, relaxing digital diversion. But on the flipside, veteran gamers might not find new here compared to other Diner Dash-like games.
That said, it’s multitasking madness, cute story and graphics, and fun mini-games all make Turbo Pizza a very fun and challenging restaurant simulation that’s hard to put down.