Version Reviewed: 1.04
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Physics trial racers have been cropping up all over iOS. So who better to put a subversive, original spin on the increasingly familiar genre than Adult Swim Games? Unfortunately, despite a legitimately cool presentation Delivery Outlaw only does a decent job following the rules.
When race car driver Jack Gunnit gets into some legal trouble (by smashing his car into a courthouse), he’s offered a chance at redemption by his sexy probation officer Lily Breaker. Now Jack must use his skills behind the wheel to deliver precious cargo, like tombstones and toxic waste, across dangerous terrain. Players learn all this through an opening cutscene that does a great job of presenting the world of Delivery Outlaw along with its slick comic book art style. As players go from junkyards to bayous to the tundra, the skillfully illustrated visuals still impress. Also impressive is the funky jazz soundtrack that pairs well with the chaos onscreen. The story itself may seem a little tame compared to previous Adult Swim efforts, but the game is well-produced overall.
However, not enough of that charm carries over into the gameplay itself. Riding through Delivery Outlaw's 30 or so levels in one piece feels like well-worn territory. It’s fine, but does little to surpass its competitors. If anything, a bunch of little annoyances actually make the experience worse. There are so many ways to fail in the game - whether it’s destroying the cargo through slight collisions, landing upside down and not being able to get up, or even just running out of gas. The wonky and weighty controls don’t help. Also, the levels feature few thrilling leaps or steep plummets. Instead, completing them is mostly a matter of slowly and carefully trudging across mildly bumpy stretches of land. This makes the rudimentary trick system basically meaningless. The best option for survival is to simply upgrade existing vehicles like the emasculating Cuter Scooter, or purchase new ones like the gritty Frenzy Bug with real money or the game’s plentiful in-game currency.
Patient play is admittedly a staple of this genre. The standard is called Trials after all. But in Delivery Outlaw, the rewards - and even the visuals - rarely excite enough to justify that patience. This take on physics racing is good, but others have worn it better.