Version Played: Xbox One – Also available on: Switch, PS4, PC
Though not a new phenomenon, I’ve certainly noticed the rise of chaotic, physics based sandbox games since the release – and success – of Goat Simulator. Hilariously bonkers games such as Octodad, I Am Bread and Human Fall Flat immediately spring to mind when thinking of this type of deliberately-awkward-to-control fun.
Totally Reliable Delivery Service is definitely a game that fits into the same mould as those aforementioned titles, though it has more of a mission-based structure than you may expect, given the games in whose footsteps it follows. That said, players are free to ignore the delivery missions and just enjoy the large variety of objects, vehicles and landscapes in the game’s environments.
Essentially a game in which you’re tasked with delivering different types of cargo to destinations dotted across the game’s world, Totally Reliable Delivery Service can be enjoyed by solo players or with others, either locally or online. It’s a lot more fun to play with others and the cool thing is that – just like games such as Goat Simulator – there’s no requirement to work together or even for everyone to be focused on the same task at the same time, though it’s certainly easier to deliver packages if you do help each other out.
Delivering packages will give you a Gold, Silver or Bronze trophy depending on the conditions of the mission, with some requiring that you deliver items in a certain time or with a certain level of damage, for example. Some items are particularly fragile and can be destroyed if knocked around too much, which will result in failure of the mission (though you can simply restart it from the same machine you picked the mission up from in the first place).
It’s an awful lot of fun. The ragdoll behaviour of your character can be hilarious as well as frustrating, but laughter is often more prevalent than annoyance, especially when you’re laughing at the misfortune of your friends hurtling through the world (or perhaps causing said hurtling to occur in the first place).
Though it seems to take a lot of inspiration from the likes of Human Fall Flat, the clever and sometimes very challenging environmental puzzles of that game aren’t here – instead, delivering packages safely or on target to get a Gold medal is where the challenge lies here and it’s less a feat of mental agility than it is one of hand/eye co-ordination in wrestling your little squishy avatar and getting it to do what you want. I did miss the controls of Human Fall Flat, with the camera angle raising your arms in that game being a lot friendlier; in Totally Reliable Delivery Service – in the Xbox One version at least – using both types of shoulder buttons to grasp and raise your arms at the same time can be especially awkward.
Though hardly impressive from a technical point of view – and with a few bugs that’ll sometimes see you get trapped on or within objects – it hardly matters. Not one of the previously mentioned ragdoll physics based games are technical showcases and instead rely on their gameplay for their appeal; the same applies here. There is, however, a nicely cartoony aesthetic that is pretty appealing, even if the game is a little rough around the edges. It also has a real wit and nicely surreal sense of humour, which is also a great reason to check it out.
There’s a decent amount of content included in the base game, with plenty of trophies to aim for and an awful lot of missions included. Extra areas and toys can be purchased via DLC; though I’ve yet to try these out, they also look like a lot of fun. It’s available on Game Pass right now, so Xbox One players have no excuse not to try it if they subscribe already.
For players on other platforms I’d still say that – if you’re a fan of multiplayer party games in general, at least – it’s well worth checking out, though as a single player experience it may not be the most satisfying or long-lasting game in the world. If you enjoyed Goat Simulator or Human Fall Flat, I’d imagine that Totally Reliable Delivery Service would be right up your street.
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