Pizza Tower, 2023's best platformer, is getting a free update where you play as one of the villains with his own music and moveset: 'Think of it as a sort of New Game+'

 Pizza Tower's Noise smoking on purple background.
Pizza Tower's Noise smoking on purple background.

Pizza Tower might be the best 2D platformer I've played since Hollow Knight, and if you want to restrict that to non-metroidvanias, I gotta go back to 2014's Shovel Knight for anything this good. A year after launch, developer Tour de Pizza now seems close to adding a long-promised mode where you play as one of the game's main bosses.

The Noise isn't Pizza Tower's big bad, but he gets a lot of screen time and seems to have a more personal rivalry with protagonist Peppino Spaghetti⁠—he's less Bowser, more Wario. Actually, with Pizza Tower having so much Wario Land DNA, maybe the Noise is Mario? Anyway, you get it. See also pizza chain Dominos' contemptible former mascot, the Noid. I don't know why a company that large needed to do a lazy knockoff of an indie developer's character for its mascot, but maybe it should focus on putting out more appetizing pies instead.

Tour de Pizza's gameplay clips of the Noise show the same momentum-driven platforming we got with Peppino, though the new character does have an aerial spin move I'm excited to try for myself. Tour de Pizza describes the Noise "as a sort of new game+."

Given that this new guy's working with the same levels as Peppino, he's assuredly closer in feel to him than the base game's alt character(s) Gustavo and Brick, who were so distinct they had their own special areas to accommodate them. I'm curious to see how he feels, but I can already appreciate his unique animations, UI elements, and new level escape music for both the first and second rounds of "Pizza Time."

Alternate playable characters seem to have been something Tour de Pizza experimented with a few times during development: the dev addressed playable Noise back at Pizza Tower's launch last January, while a YouTube teaser from 2020 shows a playable version of another boss, The Vigilante. The embedded YouTube video features an older WIP of the playable Noise from before Pizza Tower's release.

Given that the various levels' power-ups make Peppino control like a different character entirely, adding multiple alt characters to the mix on top of that was likely an untenable workload⁠—the Noise already needs bespoke sprites for every power-up, not to mention the end of level rank screen.

There's no set date for the Noise update, but it seems pretty close to completion. A post by Tour de Pizza in December mentions him not being "ready for Christmas," which to me implies that he should be good to go soon after? Regardless, if you haven't checked out Pizza Tower for yourself already, there's no need to wait⁠—it's already a superb platformer.