Predictably Unreliable: Totally Reliable Delivery Service – PC Review

Now arriving at your doorstep broken, damp and parts missing, Totally Reliable Delivery Service launches (literally) on Steam.

We’ve relied upon the delivery people of Amazon, Walmart, and all other manners of online shopping: now it’s time for PC gamers to get in on the action with Totally Reliable Delivery Service.

Another tinyBuild title released on other platforms and reviewed on this very site, the PC version isn’t like the Kill It With Fire or Hellpoint titles with minor adjustments – there’s a bit of an overhaul – mainly with the presentation.

If you’re already familiar with the title, you might note the difference in graphics. PC’s are fractionally better than the Nintendo Switch in terms of visuals (yes, I’m being facetious), but while We’re Five Games haven’t reinvented the wheel, it’s clear that there’s a difference. The physics are the same, only without the slowdown that can sometimes affect the console versions.

Total Reliable Delivery Service - Crew
The Crew. Source: Steam

Within the opening minutes, I shook my jelly at a wizard and then launched into the air by fist-bumping an explosive barrel. It’s an immediate fun sandbox of lunacy, but this would be the part of getting carried away like before. In my initial review, I played this with my kid, and we ended up sabotaging one another’s every move, dismissing the game’s objective: a Totally Reliable Delivery Service. Catchy, ain’t it?

You reach a delivery dispenser, dressed like a one-armed bandit, which unleashes the goods required for delivery

Playing with the mouse and keyboard, you use the left mouse to pick up items, then push or drag them to their destination or on a vehicle for more efficiency. However, the same wacky physics apply to transportation devices.

Movement in Totally Reliable Delivery Service will either be something you love or hate. It’s a bit hard to be in the middle. As a fan of Gang Beasts and Human Fall Flat, I like the chaos that goes hand in hand with unpredictable appendages, but when the goal is to carry items to a destination while being timed, it can be tricky.

Surprisingly, it’s not interacting with the objects that’s the issue; it’s the walking. It’s almost as if you’re on ice the whole time, or a peripheral character from a Hanna-Barbara cartoon running on the spot. Run over a trigger that launches you into the air or an explosive device, and you’ll lose all control. It’s irritating if you’re in a hurry, but the nature of the game.

Total Reliable Delivery Service - Flight school
Guerilla flight school. Source: Steam

Something that appears to have been copied over is the camera angles. Pausing to jot down a few notes, my characters would appear and reappear on the screen without moving, breaking all the objects around them.

The goal is about deliveries, and that’s timer-based

I initially had no idea why it did this, and when trying to capture it, the facility was unavailable. Moving to an open space, it was clear that my character would wave their arms about when idle, causing the camera to bounce. A bit strange given that their feet were planted in the ground. The camera didn’t need to follow.

The faster you complete a task, the more you get paid, the more you unlock in the game. No, not a paywall, but Totally Reliable Delivery Service is quite restrictive at first when it comes to missions, as you have to earn them.

One of the fastest ways to open up the game is by working with others, and Totally Reliable Delivery Service is in its element here. Playing with your Steam friends, or even a local game, more hands make the work lighter (on paper), though be careful who you work with. Fortunately, my daughter is allergic to PC time with the old man, so she didn’t sabotage my experience this time. It would have been nice to have a local player as I didn’t play this online. Plus, there’s nobody I’d trust.

Total Reliable Delivery Service - Bend your knees
Bend your knees, not your back. Source: Steam

The physics, while amusing, can be equally irritating as it doesn’t take much to topple over your vehicle. Time is already of the essence, but when you have parcels that are fragile, taking damage constantly, or perhaps even being flammable, you know you’ll be repeating a task again and again.

Once again, the highlight of Totally Reliable Delivery Service is the fun you can make for yourself. Getting airborne is brilliant, and if you’re able to share that experience with others, you’ll be in for some fun. Still, the point of the game is to deliver parcels, and it isn’t a sandbox. On that part, it’s a little too frustrating for me to enjoy as much as I’d like.

Yes, the visuals are much better, some of the setpieces are hilarious, and the customisations (when you unlock them) are fantastic. I just feel like this is a game that I’ll only get the most out of by playing with like-minded people or better at the game than I am so that we can unlock stuff together. 

As for fun, I make my own, and pending I can coax her to the PC, re-living this by flying planes at one another with my kid is brilliant. The PC version is the best out of the lot, so if you haven’t got it yet, have some reliable friends who, despite the best intentions, are likely to give an unreliable performance, consider Totally Reliable Delivery Service for Steam. Just be mindful of the physics and focus on the multiplayer experience.