We’ve received enough packages from parcel delivery and courier services to know that Super Box Delivery: Beyond the Horizon is as realistic as Microsoft Flight Simulator. Parcels are strewn about the road, and the Super Box Delivery driver slams into them, causing them to flip into the back of the van. The leaning tower of cardboard balances precariously in the back as the van hurtles towards a sorting centre. Having ordered books from reputable online stores and received them looking like concertinas, we can say that this is pure documentary.
It’s also one of the simplest games you could play right now. We could have left our description as the one in the paragraph above and you’d have got about ninety percent of the gist. Because this is an arcade game in the oldest sense of the word: you could imagine pumping coins into it to beat your previous best score. It’s a score-attack game, and there’s a little thrill to be had in finding one nowadays.
Each level is a rolling start on a road, running vertically up the screen. Mobile fans may be immediately familiar here, as it’s not too dissimilar from the Subway Surfers and Temple Run genre. Your van drives automatically upward, and you’re nudging it from left to right.
First point of business is to not crash. The roads meander, and there’s parked cars, boxes and bus stops littering the side of the road. It’s best to avoid them, but at least they’re static, making the job easier. It’s the oncoming cars that you have to worry about, as they’re on you before you even notice them. When you crash in Super Box Delivery: Beyond the Horizon, 90% of the time it’s because of these irresponsible drivers.
Super Box Delivery: Beyond the Horizon does give you some tools to get out of the way. A reasonably helpful indicator, like a dial on a washing machine, spins round as you move from one to lane. If a car is oncoming, then a red exclamation mark tells you so. It’s a little flawed, as it doesn’t differentiate between moving obstacles and static ones, when you treat them very, very differently, but it’s going to save your bacon as long as you pay attention to it. We developed a kind of peripheral vision where we could watch the road and scan for exclamation marks at the same time.
Super Box Delivery: Beyond the Horizon isn’t just about the dodging, otherwise that title wouldn’t make much sense. Absolutely hundreds of boxes are scattered about the roads, and – as mentioned – all you need to do is boff them into the van. There’s a wombo-combo thing going on: the more boxes you have in the van, the more your potential score goes up. But your speed goes up too, and the risk-reward meter goes off the scale. If you’ve got loads of parcels in the back, you’re likely to lose them all in a crash. A high pile will even topple off if you swerve too dramatically. It’s up to you how cocky you get. We’re timid individuals and found ourselves sidling up to sorting centres to deposit them when we could.
Inevitably the run ends and you emerge with – hopefully – a new highscore and some bronze coins to spend on upgrades. These upgrades are simultaneously great and not enough. You can pump coins into Box Rain, Armour, Destroy and Slow Time upgrades, and there are four of each. Armour and Destroy are dead simple: they make you less likely to wobble boxes off or crash. Useful stuff. But Box Rain and Slow Time are the fun ones. Box Rain delivers a rainbow road of boxes in front of you, effectively handing you free points. Slow Time accumulates as you achieve close shaves with the other riders on the road, allowing you to jam the Y button to slow time for a period.
The upgrades are all desirable and dramatically increase your earning potential. But there’s also not enough of them. After forty-five minutes or so we had them all, and had to resort to spending coins on two more cars (largely cosmetic) and their accessories (absolutely cosmetic). We didn’t care much for that.
That questionable longevity stretches to the game itself. The road subtly changes, from south-east Asian themes to American, from cities to farmland. But it’s all backdrop: there’s little to no impact on the gameplay. While your van will improve, making each run longer (unlocking some of the more strenuous achievements), the track doesn’t change in reply. It was an unwanted surprise as we played, because we were having a good time. The realisation hit that we didn’t have anything to try our shiny new toys on.
Eventually, once the achievements stopped rolling in and the cosmetics bored us, we put Super Box Delivery: Beyond the Horizon aside. Which is a waste: there is such a gap between the blood-pumping gameplay and how much there is of it. For £4.19 we should be careful not to expect too much, but that doesn’t remove the sense of emptiness we got from receiving a package that felt like most of its contents had spilled out. Which is on point for Super Box Delivery, we suppose.
The counterpoint is that you might have a score-attack household who fancy beating each other’s best scores. If that’s enough of a motivation, then Super Box Delivery: Beyond the Horizon is a slickly presented, pulse-pounding little game that costs barely more than a Royal Mail small parcel. What is here is polished and fun, and the sparseness won’t matter as much to you.
Whichever person you are, watch out for your Super Box Delivery: Beyond the Horizon skills bleeding into your real-world driving. It’s worth remembering that you can’t pick up things by crashing into them.