On first impressions alone when gifted Totally Reliable Delivery Service to review by the lovely folks over at Tiny Build. It became clear that this game had its roots in obnoxious control design. Inspired by games like Surgeon Simulator, Goat Simulator or Octodad. So I was prepared for a fun yet aggravating time. Though one with little substance. I’m happy to report that my instincts were bang on.
The narrative or central premise of this game is all but non exsitent. Your motivation is simple. When dropped into the massive sandbox this game offers. You are given one task. Deliver packages. Yet through this simple instruction, that’s all the motivation you need. You’ll find yourself mindlessly doing this for hours. Simply because the gameplay is so brilliantly slapstick.
Upon delivering my first few packages, it was like bambi learning to walk. The controls are easy to understand, but understanding will do little to ensure success. Your character controls like jelly on a plate. Making them navigate even the shortest of journeys at first is a perilous task. Though when you eventually come to terms with your characters control scheme. That’s when the environment gets involved.
As you begin to explore the map, you’ll encounter rogue logs, tornados, gushing manholes and wreckless drivers. All of which you’ll need to avoid to keep your package in tact and deliver on time. The silliness and slapstick humour is great and really adds to the experience.
The level of variety in the game is also commendable. The number of vehicles you can control is fantastic. There are a series of cars, buggies, boats, planes, balloons, plus other more wacky modes of travel to make avail of. Meaning that one person’s means of delivery may differ wildly from another.
The map that you travel through also seems to be very well crafted and interconnected. Through longer deliveries the game urges exploration naturally. Plus through it’s sandbox nature, you find yourself often ignoring your responsibilities to jump buggies off huge ramps and skydiving without a parachute hugging explosive devices.
The game is somewhat reminiscent of an old Lego game from the nineties named Lego Island. It has a unique sense of humour, focuses heavily on completing quests. Though ultimately, offers enough exploration opportunity and fun Easter eggs to be something to jump into and simple run around freely.
The game is far from perfect, as this is where it’s charm comes from. However, there are issues that have been overlooked that could perhaps need some fine tuning. Render distance is poor which can take you out of the experience, especially when flying aircrafts.
Animations in a lot of places don’t occur naturally. Missing the silly vibe and often looking lazy it broken. Even some physical objects made to hinder your deliveries spawn on top of you. Leaving you feeling frustrated as you fail to see the humorous side. The most tragic animation has to be the seagulls. They wouldn’t be out of place in an early 2000’s CGI movie by the seaside.
Also, although some will view it as a plus. The game has no HUD whatsoever. Goals are marked on screen only when close enough to them. There is no fast travel and there is no way to set way markers. The only saving grace is that the delivery markers are in abundance. So you’ll never be more than a short walk away from something to do.
The art style is very cute and colourful. Filled with plenty of round edges and wacky animations. That way, when you plummet toward the ground and land with a massive thud. It’s akin to a pillow falling off your bed. Though to be slightly critical, the cell shaded textures can come across quite inconsistent. Some textures are perfectly cute yet refined. While others feel rather unfinished.
Sound for the title follows the same cues as the artstyle. Opting for a sweet and cheerful theme that loops constantly. However, it doesn’t really become irritating throughout. It blends into the background beautifully through its happy go lucky vibe. Allowing you to focus on the Mayhem you can cause.
Throughout my playthrough. Within the EU region at least. There seemed to be a decent amount of online activity for Totally Reliable Delivery Service. So I popped in for a few sessions. Though despite the scope for great things, I was underwhelmed.
The player base seem to be intent on having fights akin to Gang Beasts. Often getting in your way, cancelling your orders or making it impossible to even move around at times. This is of course not something to worry about if playing on private servers. Though if you think it’s going to be a fun and adventurous online experience, you might be mistaken.
Though what can be said, is that with like minded others. There is a plethora of fun activities and inclusions. Things such as cannons to aim and shoot your pals. Or Mechanical cyclones to strap your buddies into and send them sky high. Or if your so inclined. Maybe make a delivery or two.
What was also appreciated was the customisation options. The player can change clothes and accessories to make the ideal delivery person. However, one issue I encountered was the difficulty building a female character. With only a handful of hairstyles and options to achieve this. Which as you can imagine, is a bit of a problem.
Though, in defense of the customisation options. Through completing deliveries, you can unlock more varied items. Which along with fixing the issue. Also offers a way to keep players invested in progression. Though, there really shouldn’t be an issue to solve in terms of female character customisation to begin with.
Overall, the game offers a fun experience that will have you giggling at your own inadequacies in game. Does it offer one that will live long in the memory. No not really. It’s a fun focused title that offers a shallow experience when put under a microscope. Though, if you don’t already know that going in then maybe that’s your own fault.
What it does offer is a tonne of replayability though its online assets, fun sandbox vibe and replayable missions. Meaning that even though it’s far from a masterpiece. You’ll probably jump into this one now and again for a bit of pandemonium based fun.
Not to mention, there is DLC available for those that want to further customise their characters. Plus two new islands which offer more deliveries if you happen to exhaust your options with what the base game offers. Slightly irritating that this wasn’t offered at face value in the vanilla release. Though you gotta make bank somehow.
In a day and age where games are taking themselves very seriously. Producing cinematic narratives, ultra realistic graphics and intelligent physics systems. It’s great to see that the genre of fully fun focused titles is still alive and kicking.
Totally Reliable Delivery Service released on the 1st of April 2020 and is currently available on Nintendo Switch and PS4 for a price of just £12.00.
So that’s our review of Totally Reliable Delivery Service. Are you going to pick this one up? Do you enjoy this type of fun focused game. What would you say is the best game ever from the genre? Let us know in the comments. Also, we are on Open critic so be sure the head there for more review content. Or if you’d prefer to hang here. Why not check out other Tiny build game Pathologic 2’s review. Or why not see our views on new battle royale, Call Of Duty Warzone. I’m callum and thank you for reading COG!
- THE GOOD
- Brilliant slapstick gameplay
- Varied vehicle options
- Cute sound and art design
- THE BAD
- Lack of female customisation options
- inconsistent textures and animation
- Poor public online experience
If you’re looking for a fun focused game with laugh a minute content. Then look no further than Totally Reliable Delivery service. This game is a spiritual successor to the obnoxious controlled games like Goat simulator or Octodad. It won’t live long in the memory. Though, for a quick fix of mayhem and fun in equal measure. Pick up this one at a very reasonable price!