Mail Time Demo
Developer: Kela ven der Deijl
Publisher: Freedom Games
Genre(s): Adventure, Indie, Platformer
Platform: PC – Steam (also available on Nintendo Switch, PS4 and PS5)
Age Rating: TBC
Release Date: April 2023
Price: £ – TBC
A code was provided for review purposes
Have you wanted to deliver mail to a bunch of cute animals, without any of the real-life logistical hassle? Well Mail Time might just be the game for you.
A Cosy Aesthetic
The first thing that greets you is the character creator. It’s very bubbly, and very inclusive. I think the art style of the game is very nice and very relaxing, it honestly reminds me of a colouring book. However, It does somewhat blend with other indie games in my opinion, as it sort of fails at making things pop. I think a cel-shaded look would have done a bit better in my opinion.
Mailing to a Community
So the story of the game involves you having to mail letters to people around a town, and to make things a little daunting, it’s you’re first day on the job. The basic idea of the game is that you go around, asking people for mail requests, and you try your best to fulfil them. As such, you play in a platformer going around, looking for things that the people you talk to request and deliver them to people, in the hope of making their lives better.
I do like this idea, as I think talking to people to send and receive mail is a good idea. However, I feel like the writing of these exchanges are a bit rushed, as the dialogue feels a bit too short and to the point. I do understand what they were going for – you sort of just talking to your mail man – but I think there could be some more fluff involved, as a few small jokes here and there between people is common.
Too Chill for Its Own Good
I felt that the gameplay was kinda lacking personally, as it doesn’t feel super engaging. You can run, jump to places, use your glider… and that’s it really. The design of the area doesn’t really help, as it feels like things don’t pop out compared to the environment – there are no effects to really help separate things that you need to stand out from the background, which is kinda a problem with this art style. There is a menu feature that helps keep track of what you need, which is neat, but honestly, I would like a tracker on the screen, or at least to have the option, ’cause sometimes, you do just forget what you are collecting.
I also just feel like the world design is a little bit bland, even with things to collect, as the while the cycle isn’t overly repetitive, it does feel a little bit like the McGuffins are kinda just standing there, waiting for you to pick up though the bottle caps were a nice search. Even with that though, I feel like this demo lacks in pace and scope, something that left me very bored.
Mail Time is something that feels like a very mixed bag of highs and lows for me, and while I do think other people can find more in this (especially if you like games that make you relax) I don’t think this demo left me wanting to get the final product. Especially considering you can get similar games, and this does nothing to stand out for me personally with its lacklustre gameplay; though a good atmosphere in terms of writing does make me think there’s an audience for it.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.