P For Pizza is the brand new word based party game from Big Potato Games. Designed by Doruk Kicikoglu, the game sees 2 – 4 players aiming to construct a large pizza slice from smaller pizza cards. Lasting around 10 – 15 minutes, players need to be on their toes to think of words in a category. However, is this a quick thinking experience for all or is it like pineapple adorning a pizza slice? Let’s find out!
Grabbing the triangle pizza pieces, the cards, from the box and the game is pretty much ready to go. Shuffling the stack of cards it is placed category side up in the center of the table, with 3 cards flipped over around it. This makes a larger triangle shape, which everyone should be able to see around the table. Discarding the top card play begins with the three categories on show adjacent to a different letter, with the letters being on the reverse of the triangular category cards.
The aim is simple. Players are attempting to win nine pizza pieces and use them to create a large pizza slice. Whoever shouts out a word that starts with the denoted letter linked to the adjacent category wins the card, of course they have to be correct! For example, when “Has Stripes” and the letter T are adjacent a player could shout out “Tiger” to win the card, while Zebra or Turtle might get shouted out they wouldn’t win the card. The letter card is the one claimed, with the next card then flipped over to replace it. These category and letter combinations aren’t all the same difficulty, with the three categories being easy, medium or hard. The difficulty is helpfully denoted in a traffic light colour system, with red being hard through to green being easy.
Making the experience more challenging as it goes on, at roughly the midpoint, players must start linking using the medium, and eventually the hard, categories. As soon as a player wins a card they must add it to their large pizza slice, which must be built from bottom to top. The twist is that cards earnt using an easy category can only be placed into the lowest row. Therefore, after completing the bottom row that player cannot win a card by making a link with an easy category. Medium linked cards can only be placed into the lowest or middle row of the large pizza. Linking with a hard category means the card could be placed on top to claim victory of the game, though all cards must be placed into the lowest possible row when earnt. This acts as a bit of a catch up mechanism, with players in the lead often having to answer using harder links. This keeps everyone involved and in with a chance of winning right up until the end of the game.
With the full player count of 4 a maximum 33 cards will be claimed, with a few additional cards used during play. Therefore, as 120 cards are included, a few games can be played before cards need to be reused. This is before they are rotated or flipped over in a different order, which completely changes up the letter and category combinations. It doesn’t stop the same words being used in different games but it certainly makes it rarer, with the game always feeling fresh.
While right now a gathering of over 4 isn’t too likely, there isn’t anything stopping gamers from playing P For Pizza with a couple more people compared to the upper suggested player count of 4. Enough cards are included and as long as everyone doesn’t mind a slightly longer experience it could work. At the opposite end, with 2 players, P For Pizza is a little back and forth. It gets going with a third that bit more, as more players start throwing out answers quickly and the competition between players increases.
For those that struggle to read upside down or at angles it can be a little awkward to quickly read all of the pairings. Due to the triangular design of the cards at most one of the pairings will be the right way up for a player. As an issue it is exasperated when players need to get a hard category answer to win and that is the one upside down for them. Thankfully, this is somewhat alleviated by rotating some of the cards in the deck. This stops the hard categories always being upside down for a struggling player. This comes about over time as the cards get used and rarely will be put back into a perfectly colour rotated deck. Thankfully, most don’t have a problem with reading upside down, alas for those that do it can be a disadvantage.
The pizza theme is a surprisingly good one. On top of the way the triangular cards build up to be a big slice, it is an icebreaker of a theme. Starting from the name, straight away there is a perfect example of a food item beginning with P. Use this and people instantly get how to play, and this ease of entry is ideal for a party game. Pizza is also a lighthearted thing that everyone enjoys, and people seem to react in a “why not” way when you suggest playing – rather than avoiding playing at family gatherings. Potentially thanks to the small size of the box the pizza theme even makes the odd box shape acceptable.
P For Pizza isn’t the most original party game, it is about being fast to think of words beginning with a denoted letter in a specific category. Regardless, there is simple fun to be had by attempting to be the quickest. As the game progresses those ahead end up using harder categories, giving those behind a bit of a chance to catch up. Most games oversell the player count they work at. With P For Pizza the opposite feels true, with the game capable of entertaining above the 4 player maximum suggested. Overall, P For Pizza is a fast entertaining party game with a fun theme. Importantly, it is easier than most party games to get to the table at the moment and will be able to entertain more players when that is once again possible.
(Editor’s Note: P For Pizza was provided to us for the review by Big Potato Games. The game is currently available from local board game stores! Find your local store here, it may be doing local delivery.)