Brightly coloured, chaotic and cooperative, Pizza Possum is great at what it does, even if it doesn’t do much of it.
Pizza Possum is a game built entirely around that exact moment in stealth games where things go wrong — however, unlike Metal Gear Solid, Hitman and immersive sims like Deathloop or Deus Ex, you’re not armed with guns and weapons to get you out of the situation. Heck, you’re not a human either; You’re a possum and if you’re playing Pizza Possum at its best then you’ll be playing in cooperative mode, accompanied by the less alliterative Pizza Racoon.
Chaos & co-op are a combo of terms that get wheeled out often, but this is it at its slightly stealthy best. The premise is simple, you want to steal a giant pizza, and to do so you need to proceed through areas and unlocking doors with keys that you gain by scoffing down food. Guards are everywhere, but you’ll have items, alongside your wits, to keep you safe.
And, that’s really all of the depth that there is to Pizza Possum. Everything else, everything that makes it sing, is in the movement, the character and the world.
It’s a beautiful, bright world inspired by the Mediterranean region and its architecture, with snaking paths between crooked roofs, ocean-facing town squares and olive groves. It’s incredibly fun to dash around, and as you unlock more and more areas they become increasingly interconnected. It’s hard to stop and take it in, not least because it’s crawling with guards, but because the whole thing is designed to embrace The Escape — it’s a stealth game, sure, but after you’ve unlocked a few items it becomes more about evasion, often by a hair’s breadth, than being invisible.
Your possum, or racoon, runs like an idiot; dashing at rapid speed, tumbling off buildings and throwing themselves into bushes. Everything about Pizza Possum feels like it’s designed to be consumed incredibly fast, which also happens to be the aim of the characters when it comes to the absolute bounty of food that is littered around the levels.
It’s short, bite-sized if you will, and even the special ending — a pizza party that requires three consecutive completions without being caught — is really easy to get to. My daughters and I played through it in no time at all. We absolutely loved it, not least the one particular dog-guard that seems to say “I seeeeee… Possum!” when it spots you. It’s full of charm, and while we wish it was a longer game, we’re very glad that it exists.