In recent years we have seen a surge in what I call ‘Comedy Games’ and such, are titles which utilize gimmick-like-features for the sake of comedy, rather than coherent gameplay. This genre, which I’ve made up on the go, includes games like Human Fall Flat, Untitled Goose Game, Donut County, and Gang Beasts. And the one thing which all these titles have in common, is the gameplay which seeks to annoy you, rather than entertain you.
‘Comedy Games’ seem to come a dime-a-dozen these days and the recently released Totally Reliable Delivery Service, proves that particular point, as it comes hot on the heels the Untitled Goose Game, and the much more recent Moving Out. However, unlike those games, Totally Reliable Delivery Service appears to be even more insidious, as the physics of this particular release are incredibly fiddly, and completely unpredictable.
For the longest time, Human Fall Flat, and Gang Beasts were seen as the ultimate jelly simulators. However, in comparison to Totally Reliable Delivery Service, these two games feel iron clad and this is mainly due to the fact, that Totally Reliable Delivery Service, turns the wobbliness up to 11, and turns the already difficult to control genre into a nightmare
At first, Totally Reliable Delivery Service feels like a fun little game, but the more you play it, the more irritating it becomes. Because with time, you will continue more and more flaws, with the title physics engine, and the control scheme. For one, within Totally Reliable Delivery Service, you use the character’s arms to pick-up, and carry deliverables. However, this mechanic is incredibly inconsistent, as sometimes your character will pick up objects with immense ease, and when he/she will try to pick them up again, he/she will struggle to even lift them a single millimetre of the ground. And this appears to be an issue with the core physics engine. Because at times, when you drop a package from above of your character’s head, it will lose 20% of its quality; but mere minutes later, you will drop the very same package from a helicopter, down a mountain, and it will only lose 3%.
Inconsistency is a theme within Totally Reliable Delivery Service. In fact, there are no constants within this game and this applies to everything, walking, running, jumping, sliding – everything. This wouldn’t be a problem, if not for the fact that the core gameplay loop revolves around speed, and accuracy. It can get immensely frustrating, especially when you are transporting a parcel by air, only for it to randomly jump out of your vehicle and into the ocean. And I understand that Totally Reliable Delivery Service is supposed to by a fun and easy-going game, but while playing, I found myself constantly raging. But then I realised something.
After about three or so hours, I’ve realised that I don’t actually have to do any of the deliveries. So, I invited some friends, and we just began wreaking havoc. And when Totally Reliable Delivery Service, is played like this, it is infinitely better. Because then, and just then, all of its infuriating quirks, no longer matter. Because at that point, all you are doing is having fun, so in truth, the super-high jumps, glitchy helicopters, and the rocking camera are actually welcomed. As the wackier Totally Reliable Delivery Service gets in coop, the better it becomes.
When played like this, Totally Reliable Delivery Service can be incredibly fun and enjoyable. But this particular experience unfortunately, will not last long. Sure you can bum about the Totally Reliable Delivery Service isles, for quite some time. But that spark, which leads to the magic which the title can create, dissipates fairly quickly. And in truth, it is difficult to play Totally Reliable Delivery Service, for more than 30 minutes to an hour at one time. But then, it is an arcade indie game, so you can’t really expect it to last you as long as AAA story driven action games. So in hindsight, that will be ok – at least to some.
When it comes to standard videogame metrics such as visuals, audio, and performance. All that really has to be said about Totally Reliable Delivery Service, is that they are all just fine. Visuals are a little primitive, and more complex textures do have a tendency to look a little washed-out, but the title in general works great, so minor flaws can be excused. Especially when the title’s online component, is immensely stable – especially for a low-end indie game.
Overall, Totally Reliable Delivery Service is simply not bad. It’s by no means great, but it is inoffensive, and does what it says on the box – somewhat. And I would be more than willing to give it a higher score, if only it was committed more to its premise, than the gimmick on which it tries to capitalise on so incredibly hard. But nevertheless, it is still enjoyable, and definitely worth your attention – if you are into ‘comedy games’.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Totally Reliable Delivery Service Review
Gameplay - 5/10
Graphics - 5/10
Sound - 5/10
Replay Value - 5/10
User Review( votes)
A comedy game, that is so obsessed with its gimmick, that it fails to provide one with any meaningful gameplay.