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Subject: Pizza Theory - All Us Geeks Review (Jeff's Perspective) rss

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Jeff King
United States
Austin
Minnesota
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Additional reviews, plus the podcast this game was discussed on, can be found here: http://www.allusgeeks.com/tag/pizza-theory/



Pizza Theory, published by Gryphon Games and funded through Kickstarter, is a 2-3 player game about trying to get all of your toppings on a pizza before your opponents. Think of it as an abstract Othello meets your favorite toppings.



Turn Order

A turn in Pizza Theory goes like this:

Add Toppings: In turn order, each player places one topping on the pizza; making sure not to touch one of their own toppings already on the board.

Cut Pizza: Each player secretly chooses a number on their d6 die. Once everyone has chosen a number, all players reveal their number and place their pizza cutter (a thin wooden stick in the player's color) along the line that corresponds to their chosen number.

Replace Toppings: The criss-crossing pizza cutters divide the pizza into many different shaped slices. In each slice, the player with the most toppings gets to replace all other players' toppings with their own. If there is a tie, any losing player will still have their pieces removed, but the tied players do not get to replace the toppings being removed. The only exception to the replacement rule is if all of a player's toppings are spread out to the point that they only have a single topping in every slice they occupy; all of their toppings are safe and cannot be removed.

Rotate Pizza: Each player removes their pizza cutters and then the pizza us rotated to shift turn play order.

End Game: The game ends if at the end of a round a player had placed all 16 of their toppings on the pizza.



Components (8.0)

The components for this game are nice and fit the theme. The game board itself is a nice, think board shaped like a pizza. Each player gets 16 cardboard, circular counters with images of pizza toppings in their color. These fit into circular depressions on the board so they won't slide around when rotating the pizza. Each player gets an oversized d6 in their color for secretly selecting where they are going to cut the pizza. The pizza cutters are thin, wooden sticks in the player colors. This is my one issue with components. The sticks are very thin and every time we play, I wait for one to snap in half.



Mechanics (8.0)

Area Control

A player is attempting to get all of their pizza toppings on the board by having control in slices. If a player has control, they will replace opponent toppings with their own. This is the only way to place your toppings so that they are touching. Abstract thinking and strategy are needed, as well as good placement of your toppings.

Secret Action

Each player is secretly choosing where they will slice the pizza. How the pizza is sliced affects the number and size of slices and how much control each player will have. Again, abstract thinking is a must.



Teachability (10.0)

Place a topping, choose a number on your d6, reveal, cut, determine control, replace toppings, remove cutters, rotate pizza. It's really that simple for the "basics" of the game. The rule book is only 3 pages long. Three new players can sit down and be on their way in this game in little time. What might take awhile is the abstract strategy portion of the game, but not the actual game play.

One gotcha is the Safety Rule. We neglected it once or twice when playing, and even when we played with it I found that the wording is vague compared to the clarified explanation found on BGG. We played that any slice (which it seems by the wording) where a player only has one topping is safe from removal. Apparently the rule is meant to mean that any player that has a single topping in all of the slices they occupy (so you need to do a quick "single topping" check through all the slices before replacing toppings. But even with the way we played, the game works well.

I plan on adding this to my list of gateway games for future game days.



Theme (8.5)

This has a cute theme surrounding a nice, quick abstract game. And considering most of the game days I teach games at are run out of the party room of a Godfather's Pizza, it's a nice addition to bring along.



Fun Factor (9.0)

This game is a lot of fun and plays very quick. It can easily be played back-to-back or fill slots between games on game nights where you might be waiting for someone else to show up, or just want something quick that's still enjoyable.

Of course, if you're not a fan of abstract games, you might not find this as enjoyable. But at least it plays quick. ;-}



Overall (8.5)

I enjoyed this game. I like that it's quick and easy to teach. It's one of the few games I know that's designed specifically for 3-players. It can play 2-players, and while I haven't tried that yet; the rules for 2-players didn't seem too bad but does add an element of randomness.
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G W M
Australia
Sydney
New South Wales
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Thanks for the review Jeff, but I am intrigued, who does Othello meet?

This really is a neat game, wish I had more time to play it

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Jerome Nivet
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Guy Mullarkey wrote:
Thanks for the review Jeff, but I am intrigued, who does Othello meet?


The pizza delivery guy? whistle
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Jeff King
United States
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Sorry about that. This is an older review I wrote, and I never noticed that I didn't finish that line. ;-P

And to be honest, I can't remember the actual context any more. I remember having a conversation with someone at a game day after teaching them the game, but I don't remember what the actual line was I came up with at that time.
 
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