Domino’s is one of the most iOS-savvy pizza companies out there and it reported last month that its iPad and iPhone apps, along with their Android counterpart and the company’s mobile website, had brought in £130,000 in orders in a single day in the UK alone.
Just ordering pizzas is not enough though—the company wants you to have fun while you do it. Domino’s has released Domino’s Pizza Hero on the App Store, a free iPad game made by the advertising agency CP+B that takes you through 11 levels of making pizzas as a Domino’s employee and even lets you order the real-life version of your very own virtual pizza if you live in the United States.
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The first five levels of the game are devoted to helping you learn how to make pizzas. You start out in Pizza Prep School figuring out how to stretch the dough and then progress to spreading sauce on it, throwing on the cheese, loading it up with toppings and then doing all of the above at once.
It turns out that this is both harder and more fun than we had imagined. While we were able to rack up four stars in some of the learning levels, we never managed to score a perfect five. Trying to get that dough into a perfect circle and the sauce to spread evenly is harder than you might think, specially when you are on the clock and have to get that pizza prepared and delivered in less than 30 minutes.
After each try, a Domino’s chef comes on to tell you what you did right and where you messed up. You also get rated on the speed and quality of your pizza preparation, with the game keeping track of your high scores in Game Center. It also keeps you occupied during loading screens by throwing interesting trivia about Domino’s at you while you wait.
Once you are done with the training, you can move on to a mini game where your pizza slicing skills are put to the test and another called the “Bubble Pop Bonanza” that we hadn’t quite gotten to yet. The rest of the levels are your actual nights on the job, where you are expected to get the pizzas prepared and pushed out the door one after the other as quickly as you can.
The first level has you making two pizzas and the next one three. In the one after that, you have to keep track of the topping bins as well, to make sure that you don’t run out in the middle of preparing a pizza. Stretch the dough too far or do a poor job of laying on the sauce and you have to start over, though you do get some help from your manager sometimes.
The other components of the game include a Free Play mode, where you make pizzas without any watching eyes or ticking clocks, and the Make An Order option, which gives you the option to prepare a virtual pizza within the game and order it through the Domino’s website, or jump straight to the website and place your order by the conventional method.
Don’t worry about screwing up your custom made pizza though; the only bit that counts is the toppings you choose, and the folks at Domino’s thankfully ignore the mess you made of the dough and the way you went crazy while piling on the cheese!
The highest compliment we can give the app is that it’s a fun game to play. You’d think that Domino’s would put too much of the focus on the ordering part of the equation and the game aspect of it would be a gimmick, but that is not the case. Domino’s Pizza Hero stands on its own as a great casual iPad game and lets you order some pizzas as well (again, only if you are in USA) while you are at it.