Release Date: May 10, 2021
What I thought I was getting with Redeliver was a visual novel about delivering lost letters with some light puzzle elements. Well, I was right about the visual novel part. Sure, you need to deliver some letters along the way, but this is a fairy tale remix, that crams a whole lot of story into a very short game. You play as Red, who is taking an important package to her grandmother, and in doing so, stumbles into a plot to overthrow the government and teams up with some revolutionaries to save the day.
No, I’m not kidding.
This may be the first time I’ve ever said this, but I think Redeliver could have benefited from being twice as long with half the game play, at least with the elements that exist within the game as it stands. The game description mentions puzzles; however, what you have is a few not-so-hidden object scenes (some of which are really just down to trial and error) and a few reverse-fetch quests, where you need to click on a map based on vague directions from other people you’ve encountered. As far as I’m concerned, neither of these things added anything to the game. Twice, I was actually annoyed at how tedious and drawn-out the “puzzles” were. Instead of feeling clever, the best I could hope for was feeling lucky.
Redeliver definitely has more to offer in storytelling than gameplay. Despite feeling very rushed, the story has a couple emotional moments and some difficult choices, which are only made slightly less difficult by knowing that there is only one ending, which is, by default, the best ending. It’s easier to just go with your gut if you know the outcome isn’t going to change based on what you decide. Although multiple endings would have added some replayability, at the sub-dollar price point, I am not sure the game needed them. Unfortunately, the bigger flaw in the plot is that everything happens so fast, and you’re just kind of dragged along for the ride. It was like playing the Cliff’s Notes version of a visual novel.
Although I didn’t find the whole thing to be wildly successful, I did play it through to completion in just under an hour. This is yet another game that – as far as I can tell – is the first major effort from a solo developer, and it does hold together. Considering it falls a bit outside my preferred gaming genres, I consider this to be a successful game, because I did enjoy it.
SteamDB estimates that Redeliver has sold somewhere between 100 and a 300 copies on Steam. While not a huge success in the sales department, all the reviews so far have been positive. It is ranked 3873 out of 10,967 games released in 2021.