Mail Time

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Mail Time (Nintendo Switch) – Review

Being a mail person strikes me as an incredibly demanding and time-pressured profession. Kela van der Deijl, Appelmoes Games BV, and publisher, Freedom Games, seek to prove that in their world, postal workers have a very mellow job with Mail Time, which has just arrived on Nintendo Switch.

Mail Time is a cosy adventure game with light platforming to navigate a cottage-core, adorable world. Playing as a Mail Scout in training, your role is to deliver mail to a cast of weird and wonderful forest critters. Rather than an impersonal letter drop to a mailbox, your recruit must hand deliver straight to the paw, claw, or wing of the recipient.

My scout-in-training arrived on her first day on the job in a brand-new fit, complete with a glorious mushroom hat and glider. Before getting to work you must prepare to impress the locals by using customisation options for your postie, including a name, pronoun, basic appearance features, a few pastel colourways for clothing, and picking a style of glider. It’s quite a step up from the postal uniforms I’ve seen.

Once I was all fitted and kitted up, I arrived in Grumblewood Grove and met my mentor, the grumbly granny Janet. My first delivery job was to get a letter to Greg, but here’s the catch, this mail service doesn’t appear to run off addresses, and as a new designated scout for the district, finding Greg will be no small feat. Befriending the local wildlife will help you find out more about the mysterious Greg’s whereabouts. Help doesn’t come for free though, it must be earned, by relaying messages.

Grumblewood Grove appears to be a massive garden filled with oversized trees, pot plants, and flowers, with some significantly smaller homes and animals residing within it. Everything is pastel, soft, and fantastical. The music is an incredibly relaxing, subtle instrumentation, and a perfect accompaniment on my mail run. My first correspondence was given to Speedy Shelby, a track star tortoise with a one-track mind for racing. While I didn’t gain much intel from them, their advice for who to visit next set me off to a good start for my mail run.

Each creature has its own quirks and qualms to deal with, hence an incredibly personalised service will need to be provided. Most are fetch quests to deliver messages from one critter to another and can involve a decent amount of investigatory work. The term “fetch quest” usually fills me with dread, but this job doesn’t feel like one at all. Being a Mail Scout is perfect for winding down from my actual stressful profession. It feels organic, and each goal seamlessly blends into the next. I spent very little time wandering aimlessly and quickly learned my way around my rather unconventional postal route.

Getting around is a breeze thanks to my trusty glider. Mail Time is all about exploration, and what better way to do that than some light platforming. Scaling trees, rocks, and picnic tables was surprisingly pleasant. I enjoyed finding a good vantage point to drift through trees, amongst the flowers, and through the marshes. The map is decently sized with a variety of zones including a mini-bamboo forest and a woodland village, and the postal route can be performed more efficiently thanks to shortcuts throughout. Being able to get into every nook and cranny served another purpose, to collect trinkets for villagers, one of which is collecting mushrooms for a bat mycologist, which unlocks new hats for your mail person. You can also earn scout patches for completing certain tasks, like delivering a certain amount of letters or glide time.

What made my day was how diverse the characters are, from a paranoid caterpillar with bizarre dismissive tendencies, a rat with a keen interest in explosives, and a capybara who just wants his hat back. The dialogue was always entertaining between my scout and the others. She was a pretty nosy mailperson, which probably violates Scout code on multiple counts, but it made for many a hilarious conversation. I was incredibly invested in each character’s ventures and vendettas, and every successful delivery felt remarkably satisfying.

Mail Time mostly ran fine, but texture load-ins could be slow, and on docked and handheld, the textures occasionally appeared grainy, which was more noticeable given the usually soft visuals. Most frame drops didn’t happen until the credits rolled, so my journey was mostly undisturbed and inconsequential.

There’s no time pressure, so once they unlock, all objectives can be completed in whatever order you want, and at your own pace. It took me around 3-4 hours to complete everything, and while it was short, it was incredibly sweet, and I felt like my time was well spent with what activities there were to do. The game is fairly simple and laid back with no fall damage, no combat, and basic controls and movement. There’s a nice focus on accessibility, and I can see Mail Time being great for kids and fans of cosy games to wind down with.

Mail Time delivers a wholesome and chill adventure through the woods full of heart and whimsy. While it’s a short tale, the endearing characters, charming visuals, music, and sweet story make a great pick-up for a cosy gaming session.

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The Good

  • Endearing characters and sweet story
  • Easy, enjoyable chill gameplay
  • Lovely visuals and music
  • Great for a cosy, short gaming session

The Bad

  • Very short game
  • Graphics and performance quality dropped occasionally
  • Limited replayability

Written by: Yasmin Noble


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