Paruzal – Pizza Makes Anything Possible [Hivemind Review]

Pizza Makes Anything Possible is an audiovisual escape room created by Paruzal.

Illustrated title art for Pizza Makes Anything possible contains pizza, locks and crayons.

Format

Style of Play: audiovisual escape room

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, somewhere to take notes

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: approximately 60 minutes

Price: $15 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

You work for a pizza restaurant and your boss wants to test you. You need to open the restaurant in time for the first guests to arrive. Can you survive this pressure test?

This is an audiovisual escape room. This game is played in a space made up of two-dimensional illustration with and a gamemaster narrating. The illustrations are simple, and all clues come from the player asking the gamemaster for additional details. You give verbal commands to try ideas and see what works.

Illustration of an empty green room. The walls are all labeled with the name of a different shade of green.

Hivemind Review Scale

REA's hivemind review scale - 3 is recommended anytime, 2 recommended in quarantine, 1 is not recommended.

Read more about our Hivemind Review format.

Fro’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

This game was adorable and the plot (featuring a character on a major work deadline) was relatable! The standout for me was a sequence that required us to use our imaginations in a magical way in what otherwise appeared to be an ordinary pizza shop. The simplicity of the game’s illustrations further stimulated the imagination, and with the help of the gamemaster’s narration, I was able to create a vision in my head of what the location would look like in real life. On the downside, I felt the game had a bit of a slow start, and we spent a lot of time in the opening space, which wasn’t visually engaging. The cluing on one puzzle was also unclear to me and caused some frustration. All in all, a strong effort, and at the conclusion of this game, I was dying for a slice of pizza.

Cara Mandel’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Pizza Makes Anything Possible left me with not only a big smile on my face, but also a powerful craving for a slice of ‘za. Paruzal has designed a very enjoyable audio adventure with accompanying static illustrations for reference. The gamemaster used annotations over Zoom to help us take actions or identify areas being described. What we did from there was up to us! What I enjoyed about this format was the feeling of playing an RPG. We were encouraged to be imaginative and, although each puzzle did have a correct solution, how we went about finding and executing those solutions was our choice. And believe me when I say we made some… ahem… creative choices along the way. Definitely worth a play and also very family friendly. Grab the gang and help save the pizzeria!

Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

If you ever wanted to own a pizza restaurant, this is your game! Don’t worry, no outside knowledge is required.

At its best, the gamemaster was funny and went along with our sense of humor. The game contained very nice graphics and tons of things to explore. The puzzles had an enjoyable, advanced difficulty level.

At its worst, while most puzzles followed escape room logic, in one or two instances the solutions felt unrealistic (e.g. something “magically appeared”). Especially in the second part of the game, too many objects were available at once with very little gatekeeping. This caused unintentional red herrings. For an audiovisual-guided escape room, there was a tad bit much of “sorry, can’t do that,” in my opinion, compared to similar games.

We played with 6 people, which was definitely a bit much. But overall I still enjoyed the game.

Theresa Piazza’s Reaction

Rating: 1 out of 3.

As someone who has long had the nickname “Pizza,” I was really excited to play an escape room based on one of my favorite foods. Unfortunately, instead of finding the warm satisfaction that a freshly baked pizza pie holds, I was met with an experience filled with puzzles based on escape room logic. Throughout the game, I felt a mix of “Am I playing a Dungeons and Dragons puzzle meant to have no logic-based answer?” and “What two rather obscure items mixed together will unlock my path next?” The live gamemaster there to provide hints and nudge the group in the right direction is certainly helpful and needed, but given the choice I’d pick another game to play.

David Spira’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

The strength of the audio-plus-static art escape room format is that it isn’t bound by practicality or reality. Paruzal has leaned into this with their fantastical Pizza Makes Anything Possible. This was one of the most interesting and different games that I’ve played in 2020.

The audio format requires a skilled gamemaster, and our gamemaster was excellent at guiding us within the limitations of the gameworld.

Playing my second Paruzal game, I had a 3 key takeaways:

  1. Upgrades – Paruzal was one of the first online escape games that I played, and their illustrations were rudimentary. That’s not the case anymore. Pizza Makes Anything Possible had clear and deliberate art direction.
  2. Puzzling – Pizza Makes Anything Possible was all about the puzzles. There were some tricky ones in there.
  3. Reality Bending – Right out of the gates, Pizza Makes Anything Possible leaned heavily into the “makes anything possible” portion of its name. It felt like anything could be a solution in this world, but the required answers were very specific. This is where I feel like this game faltered. The world was so open narratively, but the solutions were so specific. The game felt like it was in conflict, and needed some more room to let us play in this fantastical space.

Disclosure: Paruzal provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.