It’s a strange time we live in. Staying in contact with your family and friends is more difficult, keeping yourself entertained maybe even more so. Last week a new game arrived on Game Pass for console. And it could get your minds off of all the horrible things in the world for a while. It could also give you a headache.
We’re talking about Totally Reliable Delivery Service, a game like Human Fall Flat with ragdoll physics and an emphasis on spontaneous ‘’laughing at America’s Funniest Home Videos’’ kind of fun. And most importantly, it is meant to be played with friends. I had a lot of fun with Human Fall Flat, so now let’s see what can be said about this new title in the same genre.
You start as a clumsy character, either a man or woman, with just one task. Make as many deliveries as possible. There are different kinds of deliveries, some require you to deliver a package as fast as possible. Others require you to be careful, as you have to deliver fragile packages. The whole map is filled with small mailboxes, which are used as starting points for your mission. The moment you pull a lever on the red mailbox, you receive a package and a mission objective.
During these deliveries, you have all kinds of vehicles and items at your disposal to help, or sometimes disrupt, your job. At one point you are delivering a package on an airship. The next moment you are delivering a package using a fire extinguisher… as a rocket.
The variation in deliveries and machinery makes the game fun for a good while. But, in single player the game gets stale quite fast. The humor isn’t as funny as the game thinks it is. And the world isn’t as engaging or interesting as I had hoped.
The arena used for a Rocket League knock-off is a fun touch though.
Totally Reliable Delivery Service is a better game when played with friends. Screwing around with the vehicles, making deliveries together and interacting with the world becomes more silly and hilarious when others can see it. And it’s not just for laughs either. Having someone around helping you with a delivery can make the difference. Driving around a package becomes a lot easier when your companion can hold the package in place. The game also supports 4-player splitscreen play.
If this game reminds you of another title called Human Fall Flat, then I can’t deny I had the same thought. Human Fall Flat has been one of the most popular games on Xbox Game Pass for a long while now. And Microsoft has been a great supporter of the title. Phil Spencer has acknowledged to be a big fan of the game. And during the last Inside Xbox episode, the new DLC for the game mentioned.
But, Totally Reliable Delivery Service doesn’t have the same appeal as Human Fall Flat. The sillyness and character of the latter haven’t been matched by Totally Reliable Delivery Service. Human Fall Flat has a lot more emphasis on teamwork and the linear structure makes it more rewarding to play. The open world style of this game also shows a lack of focus. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want, which also makes you question why you are doing it at all.
Wheras Human Fall Flat works well for all ages, I feel this game is more suited towards the younger audience. There are a couple mechanics in this title that could give children hours and hours of fun with this title. The vehicles, the drawbridge and the Rocket League-like arena provide enough sandbox fun.
As with a lot of modern games, you earn cosmetics when making successful deliveries. You can buy skins for your vehicles, or give yourself a nice new shirt or hat.
The biggest problem with Totally Reliable Delivery Service are the clumsy controls. In a game like this it’s fine to have slow and wobbly controls, but with this game it often feels frustrating. Besides that, the controls are also limiting. In Human Fall Flat you have a nice mechanic to climb up on buildings or other objects. In this game, you can’t climb very well. Meanwhile, controlling vehicles isn’t as fun as it should be. You’ve got these colourful and interesting vehicles at your disposal, but each time you try and do something interesting with them, you get annoyed by the controls.
There are plenty of bugs though. Often times I got stuck in a vehicle or inside a building. And that’s not a problem at all if you are nowhere near finishing a delivery. But when it happens mere seconds before finishing your task, it can get frustrating. The sound design of the game is decent enough. The sounds add to the charm of the game, with helicopters and planes making noises that fit the cartoony style very well.
Overall this game is fun for children and could be fun with friends. I don’t recommend playing this game on your own, but can see how it gets close to the appeal of Human Fall Flat when played with friends or family. If you have younger children, then this game could well be perfect for them. The open world gives children more options, so if a certain task is too difficult, they can move to a different one. The abundance of vehicles and other mechanics to play around with give it enough longevity to last for days – or weeks. Despite some bugs and annoying controls, the game is well worth a try for certain demographics.