We study 2d U(1) gauge Higgs systems with a $\theta$-term. For properly discretizing the topological
charge as an integer we introduce a mixed group- and algebra-valued discretization (MGA scheme) for the gauge
fields, such that the charge conjugation symmetry at $\theta = \pi$ is implemented exactly. The complex action
problem from the $\theta$-term is overcome by exactly mapping the partition sum to a worldline/worldsheet
representation. Using Monte Carlo simulation of the worldline/worldsheet representation we study the system at
$\theta = \pi$ and show that as a function of the mass parameter the system undergoes a phase transition.
Determining the critical exponents from a finite size scaling analysis we show that the transition is in the 2d Ising
universality class. We furthermore study the U(1) gauge Higgs systems at $\theta = \pi$ also with charge 2 matter
fields, where an additional $Z_2$ symmetry is expected to alter the phase structure. Our results indicate that
for charge 2 a true phase transition is absent and only a rapid crossover separates the large and small mass regions.