No Delivery

It’s late at night, all the guests are gone. Stezzoni Pizzeria is a wreck of plates and trash. Your only companionship are the animatronics and the faint buzzing from the arcade. Huh? Will the animatronics attack? Nah, most of them are cool with you. This ain’t a Five Nights at Freddy’s.

But there is something wrong with the place. The ball pit seems to go on for forever and there’s stuff shuffling around in that mess. The alleyway is full of trash bags that look suspiciously more like body bags.

And for whatever reason, Stezzoni Pizzeria doesn’t offer delivery.

No Delivery is a horror themed RPG made in RPG Maker MV by horror_n_oates (or just oates). The game is actually a sequel to a previous game released in 2016, One Night at the Steeze. Playing that game isn’t too necessary to play this, but it will probably strengthen your understanding of the game, as No Delivery is essentially a different perspective of the same location.

And that perspective is through the eyes of an employee that’s cursed to deal with this place! You play as a randomized employee who closes up for the night in an obviously haunted place that’s out to kill you.

There are five main playable character types… I think? Bizarrely, I’ve only gotten two character types during my whole playthrough: the delivery guy and the security guard. Each character type offers a different moveset, and as far as I can tell, no stat differences. You also get assigned values for traits outside of battle, but to me, the most important ones are Competence and Fear Level; having a high number of the former enables you to clean up deadly spills without having to use an item and being less scared increases the chances of randomized gift boxes actually containing something good.

Your first formal shift starts you locked in a restroom in an early game hell, where you lack the resources to protect yourself from death. In fact, you’re likely to get yourself killed fighting the ghost of a dead waiter. Upon death, a new employee is rolled, with items and money being carried over. Well, there’s a $50 severance fee, because working at this place isn’t punishment enough.

After escaping and accessing the restaurant’s lobby, the game opens up, but it’s not anymore safer. And it’s more miserable, too. Regardless of what job you’re randomly assigned, all employees are tasked with cleaning up the joint, and wow, there’s a lot of trash everywhere.

As you poke around trying to clean-up, you may suddenly find yourself in a Wrong Turn, an eldritch part of the pizzeria that’s full of hostile creatures. It becomes a bit of a roguelike here, where you traverse a number of rooms that have randomly generated contents. You can find deadly spills – with which a high competence character can go through with ease. You can come across monsters. You may find a party member, who may randomly get shuffled into your order of rooms after you unlock the ability to summon them. You may even get lucky and come across an empty room, which still manages to feel somewhat unsettling with the atmospheric music playing.

Subdued darkwave music plays as a monster appears to tear you limb from limb. The approach to combat in the game is interesting in that your character doesn’t level up. Aside from gaining new skills from exploration, your characters will never get stronger and will hardly become monster killers. Instead, fights become a resource game. The best way to fight is to use skills, which requires resources like bullets or even pizza. In turn, besides enemy drops, you can also get some resources back by eating pizza, which will give back trash, which you can then sell to some trash demon for money. Enemies will wear you down, either through tearing you apart or by wasting your resources, making runs through a Wrong Turn a struggle.

Or, at least, it should be a struggle.

There is an item that you can buy shortly after you unlock the main lobby, the instant camera, which will stun enemies into the proceeding turn. It costs $8, which is initially costly, but it’s well worth it because nothing – not even the bosses – resists stun. As long as the last person attacking uses the camera on a turn where the stuns naturally wears off, you can effectively stunlock enemies. Uphill battles that mark the difference between the nightmares and you are thrown out the window as every boss fight becomes effortless, as long as you get the dough to buy cameras – and the sizable reward for beating bosses will keep you in the green.

Like, if I had any suggestions if this were to be updated in the future, I honestly say that the cameras need to nerfed because they undermine the difficulty and removes the fear of dying – which is kinda important in a horror game. I kinda like how Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass handled stuns because in that game, stunned enemies gain a status after leaving stun that makes them immune to that stun for a few turns, which would prevent nonsense like this.

So, you’ve gotten through the Wrong Turn and you’ve already gotten the important rewards, so what do you get for your troubles?

You… get to survive to work the day shift! Yay? The day shift scenes are narrative styled scenes where you choose dialogue options which could get you some rewards or penalties. Honestly, I kinda wish that some similar narrative scenes were integrated into Wrong Turns to help break things up.

But anyway, it becomes apparent that besides the monsters, the thing keeping you down is management. Employees are hired and tossed aside with little regards besides a meager $50 severance fee for dying. They’re all treated as interchangeable and disposable janitors, tossed into the grinder of clearing the place of its mundane messes and the big boss monsters. And the reward for doing all of it is… more work.

Maybe, at the end of the day, the real monster is capitalism.

Outside of the Wrong Turns, the game feels more like a standard horror game made in RPG Maker, with you poking around to find stuff to progress. Though, besides one or two instances, the horror aspect is more focused on atmosphere over cheap jump scares. There’s also some goofiness to give levity to the game, but it doesn’t destroy the game’s tone. Like haunted or not, it’s a dumb pizzeria. It’s gonna have goofs.

There are five different endings to the game and none of them completely explain what’s going on – if at all. Which is fine, because the setting relies on the establishment being a mysterious and weird place. Of them, two of the endings – obtained at the same place – feel like more definitive endings where the most you can personally do is grant closure; and even then, keeping in line with the game’s mysterious nature, both of these endings are mutually exclusive and contradictory, so who’s to say what actually happened?

I like a lot of the art in No Delivery, especially in the Wrong Turns, where everything’s got a grimy or decayed look to it. Entering a Wrong Turn and getting an ending also presents these VHS tape visuals for a cursed video feel. Heck, you can turn on a filter to have that effect going all the time, though I didn’t really use it because it hurts my eyes.

The usage of this presentation also lends some further ambiguity to the game. Considering that the game starts with the manager presenting the player with an employee training video… it’s possible that you may have never stopped watching.

No Delivery is… an interesting game. I think that as a horror RPG Maker game, it’s perfectly fine. As a turn-based battling roguelike, I think this side needs some work, because hey, rendering all the threats ineffective really drags down the terror aspect. Overall, I had an okay few hours with this game, I just wish that it was spruced up some more. I love to distract myself from my miserable job, so it was good pretending to be in a just as miserable job with a cursed workplace.

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