For the first couple of years of the App Store, it seemed like virtual controls would never be up to snuff enough for a traditional platforming game. Sure games like Bounce On [$1.99 / Free] with its tilt+tap control scheme showed that with some creativity a precision platformer could be done on iOS, but sometimes you just yearn for that classic feel of a d-pad and buttons, and although a few games came close nobody had really figured out how to make that feel right on a touch screen just yet.
Then, two years ago this week in fact, Pizza Boy [$1.99 / Free] came along and showed us the way. We praised Pizza Boy in our review for its fantastic virtual control setup, something developer Acne Play dubbed the “Smart Touch System.” Well, whatever you want to call it, it just plain worked, and made you forget you were playing a game with virtual buttons in the first place. Instead you could just focus on the action at hand.
The downside was that the action in Pizza Boy didn’t last more than an hour or two, and it was such a fun ride that it left you wanting much more. Acne Play addressed this a few months after release with a nice update that added 8 brand new bonus levels to discover, fleshing out the experience significantly.
Now, on the cusp of its two year anniversary in the App Store, Pizza Boy has once again received an update, this time adding the oft-requested Game Center support to the game. There’s now 22 achievments to unlock as well as online leaderboards for every level in the game, as well as an overall total points leaderboard. A perfect fit for this style of platformer that rewards you for searching out all the bonuses and completing levels in a timely manner.
Finally, Pizza Boy Lite has just been released so you can get a taste of what the game is all about without risking your precious pennies. You get the entire first world in the lite version, which has four different levels and its own Game Center integration as well.
I’m not going to lie: I’m dying for a sequel to Pizza Boy, and I hope that’s something that will happen someday. That said, I’m more than happy that Acne Play continues to freshen up their game with things like the Game Center leaderboards and achievements. If you have somehow not tried out Pizza Boy yet in the past two years, then at the very least give the new lite version a try, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.