Pizza Bandit is a co-op shooter with extra cheese

Still baking in the oven, this upcoming multiplayer third-person shooter from indie studio JOFSOFT has a few intriguing ingredients.


Predictably, Pizza Bandit has an absurd premise. This cooperative third-person shooter developed by JOFSOFT, an indie studio based in Korea, has players step into the role of a mercenary who spends his life savings on a pizzeria. But since he knows nothing about how to run a restaurant properly, his venture is failing, and so he’s forced to return to his time-traveling bounty-hunting ways to rescue it. A developer explained this rather ridiculous setup to me as I tried a demo for the game at The Mix event during GDC 2024, but as someone who is still fond of a particular group of four anthropomorphic turtles who practice ninjitsu and eat pizza, I’m not averse to silly origin stories. Based on what I played, Pizza Bandit has a fair amount of potential, though the gameplay needs more work before it’s ready for delivery.

Raw dough

Pizza Bandit Shuttle Ship Time Travel
To reach the next mission, players need to board this time-traveling shuttle.


For context, the demo I went through was in a pre-alpha state, and due to the circumstances of the event, I had to play through it solo as there wasn’t space for multiple PCs. Pizza Bandit is meant to be experienced in teams of up to four players, which is why the demo for the game that was initially available on Steam had multiplayer functionality. That said, it’s still possible to get through missions alone and the overall difficulty does increase in proportion to the size of the party, so what I played is still relevant. At any rate, the internal logic behind being able to form a team in the first place is that all the mercenaries in the group come from different timelines, much like the meme of the Spider-Mans pointing at each other.

The beginning of the demo dropped me at the entrance of the Pizza Bandit pizzeria, which acts as a central hub where I could accept a variety of missions. I chose to take on one of the more basic operations, a temporal heist in Ginkgo Town in the year 1977. After boarding a time-traveling shuttle, I arrived in a sewer and ran through a series of tunnels where I had my first taste of combat. Going back in time and changing events apparently doesn’t go unnoticed, luring zombie-like time reapers to hamper my progress at every turn. Meanwhile, the time machine on the shuttle only has a limited amount of energy, so I didn’t have time to dither around as the clock wound down.

A good plain slice (of gameplay)

Pizza Bandit Heist Vault
The heist mission has multiple objectives that have a very short time limit.


Completing the rest of the heist wasn’t difficult but required a lot of swift action. After disabling the security on the vault and planting the drill to begin overriding the lock, I needed to secure the perimeter by defeating waves of monsters. It’s easy enough dealing with a few reapers by pelting them with bullets and dodging their attacks with a quick roll. The gunplay leans toward the simpler side and is about as complicated as it is in Saints Row. Players who find combat not to be challenging enough can raise the difficulty of a mission, which will earn them a higher amount of bonus rewards.

Since I was playing solo, though, I decided to stay close to the drill and move between the two entryways of the room. I placed down several traps and threw out a distracting disco-ball grenade if I felt overwhelmed by a particular swarm. Felled enemies would leave behind small amounts of ammo on occasion, but when I needed to restore resources immediately, I called for a supply drop, which humorously arrived as a pizza delivery that dropped from the sky in the form of a large booth-sized capsule. Once I finally cracked open the vault, I quickly grabbed the loot and raced back to the shuttle.

Overcooked, in the best way possible

Pizza Bandit Pizzeria Mission Overcooked
Shooting monsters while baking pizzas isn't easy. Let's hope the health inspector doesn't stop by.


Back at the pizzeria, I spent some time looking through the wares of a robot in the garage who had various guns for sale. In the full release, players will be able to craft new weapons by gathering components found in missions. After that, I tried another mission that asked me to bake pizzas in a rudimentary outdoor restaurant. Interestingly, this played out like a stage in Overcooked, except that I had to blast reapers who were rudely trying to interrupt the cooking process. I had to fill specific orders within a short time limit by going to the right stations, assembling pizzas with the correct toppings, and sending them off in a drop pod. Unfortunately, I failed to complete enough orders in time, but this is the type of mission where having a well-coordinated team would have made this a breeze.

Pizza Bandit does not have a release date yet and it’s still looking for a potential publisher, but the game is expected to be available for PC via Steam at minimum. According to messages posted by the developers on the game’s official Discord, an updated multiplayer demo on Steam was meant to be dropped in late April 2024, so it will hopefully be arriving soon. The developer on-site stated that Pizza Bandit is planned for Steam Early Access in Q1 2025 and that JOFSOFT is looking to port the game over to consoles if development runs smoothly.

This preview is based on a pre-alpha demo of the game provided by the publisher at The Mix event during GDC 2024.

Contributing Editor

Once upon a time, Nick's parents confiscated his Super Nintendo because he was "playing it too much." He has secretly sworn revenge ever since. Nick is now a freelance writer for various video game sites. Powered by iced green tea, he typically plays RPGs of all kinds like Shin Megami Tensei, Elder Scrolls, and Fallout. In his spare time, he follows the latest season of Critical Role.

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