When this game was released the vast amount of useless tycoon-games had yet to invade the market. Pizza Tycoon felt fresh and new and exciting. When you bought the game you recieved a thick manual and a little recipee book you needed in order to make "correct" standard pizzas. This was in a way a copy protection, since no visitors came to your restaurant if you didn't have a few standards on the menu. I liked that there was a mix between the customer's need for standard pizzas and your own creations, preferrably following the current pizza trends. The game was complex, with trends, maffia, advertising, cooking competitions and all sorts of things to do.You could even make some real good money trading in "ice cream"(weapons). If you did good you could even become a godfather in the criminal world and a real tycoon in the business world (although it was a lot easier to become a godfather than to rise to fame in the business world.)
It was fun hiring and training staff, and brining sleazy government officials to come and award your restaurants stars. I also liked that you could open restaurants in several cities, including Stockholm, which was nice for me as I'm Swedish. There is also a very silly but somewhat entertaining humour throughout the game which I liked. A complex and fun game.
Pizza Tycoon is at first overwhelmingly difficult. It is very hard to get the business going. Everything is expensive and everything is time consuming. You don't have time for much until the working day is over. There is also a bit too much micro-management, such as signing good deals with grocers to get good, cheap ingredients for you pizzas. This is quite time consuming and not much fun at all. You can leave that to the managers of the restaurants but a good manager costs a lot of money so it will take quite a whíle before you can afford one that is good enough. Also, it is a bit too easy to make money on crime. It is very easy to make vast amounts of money smuggling weapons, but it is far too difficult to make money just selling pizzas. A little more balance, and definitely a bit more forgiving difficulty would have been preferred. As it is, to actually run the restaurants is a bit too hard for my liking.
The Bottom Line
Very difficult but complex and awarding tycoon game. Fun and challenging.