Pizza Tycoon is a strategy game where you are an aspiring pizza chef, who wants to start the best pizza chain in the world. You begin by choosing a character you want to be (they differ in appearance and abilities, but the most important factor is the amount of money they have at the start).
Then you choose one of the cities in the USA or Europe, where you will rent the building that will become your first pizza restaurant. Before you open it, however, you have to buy furniture, decor and floors (there's a huge choice); hire some cooks and waiters; add some pizzas to your menu, and buy ingredients (you can buy at various shops, which offer various quality of the ingredients). Once this is all ready, you can open your first restaurant and then advertise it via fliers, billboards, newspaper or TV ads.
Creating your own pizzas, either to include into your menu or to take part in pizza-making competitions, is an important part of the game. You begin with an empty dough, and you're free to add a lot of various vegetables, meat, fruits or herb onto it. Remember that various people like various ingredients - if your restaurant is in a district populated mostly by kids, you can expect that a pizza made of sweet things will be popular. Also, specific ingredients rise and fall in popularity; if the newspaper announces that pineapples are bad for health, then sales of your Pineapple Pizza might plummet!
But while earning money as a honest citizen can be fun, it's even more exciting to get involved with the Underworld and buy weapons to devastate your competitor's restaurant, or do missions for the Mafia (which usually involve picking up something at a specific place at a specific time, and bringing it somewhere else at a different time). But beware, as this can bring you problems, either from the law or from the Mafia itself.