It’s safe to say Pizza Rat has captured the hearts of a nation in his filthy little paws. Weeks after a cellphone video of the world’s most famous rat electrified the internet, his star continues to burn.
If you need more proof of P.R.’s enduring appeal, look no further than Go Pizza Rat Go, which is apparently the second video game based on the now iconic — nay, legendary — viral video. Play the game for free here. (Beware the autoplay music.)
With a killer soundtrack and the most endearing populist protagonist one could hope for, the game is genuinely addictive. Your task is to guide P. Rizzle through an urban obstacle course of PBR cans, banana peels, and murderous booted feet, without dropping the pizza. If Pizza Rat drops his pizza owing to your negligence or lack of dexterity, his family will starve, and that will be on your head, friend. So don’t screw it up.
Shloimy Notik, one of the creative minds behind the video, says it was Pizza Rat’s moving story of perseverance and pizza theft that inspired the game.
“So Pizza Rat exploded, and were just thinking: Shouldn’t there be a way to experience what it was like for Pizza Rat?” Notik says.
After all, you can never truly know a rat until you’ve scuttled a mile in his paws.
Notik, 27, and Chad O’Connell 28, who together form an advertising team based in Williamsburg and Bushwick, reached out to some friends to see what they could put together. Then they bought some pizza (as if there was another choice) and holed up for twelve hours, brainstorming. They called a Web-developer friend, Jonathan Cherlin, and asked if he wanted to help them out. It didn’t take a lot of convincing. “He was like, hell yeah,” Notick reports.
Add an infectious Pizza Rat anthem penned by Alex Basak — the hook of which is, fittingly, “Go, Pizza Rat, go” — and you have a game that will permit you to waste some time at work (and maybe even convince your editor boss that you’re “being productive” and “doing research”).
Add Go Pizza Rat Go to a now extremely long list of Pizza Rat Things that have followed in the wake of his debut: an awesome first-rodent New Yorker essay, another video game, a Saturday Night Live appearance, and, because this is the world we live in, a Sexy Pizza Rat costume.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 5, 2015