Here’s The Mail, It Never Fails
HIGH It’s oozing with charm and tight controls.
LOW It’s a bit derivative at times.
WTF Now I want Mail Mole merch.
What do my mom’s cooking, Simpsons reruns and mascot platformers have in common? Those are three things I will never get tired of. Putting the first two aside, I love seeing devs tackle the genre and lately many indie developers have been doing a great job at capturing the vibe of mid-range budget platformers I played at a young age.
Mail Mole is the latest in this crop and takes inspiration from the 3D platformers that have come before it. Players control Molty, a delivery mole known to be the fastest in Carrotland. After a couple of freak power outages affect his hometown’s postal service, he sets out to try and make things right.
An opening cutscene/tutorial taught me the basics of movement and jumping. Molty moves by digging underground, jumping whenever he pops out and can perform a ground pound while in mid-air. The controls feel phenomenal, with a fluidity not found in many games of this style, and the simple act of moving around the world is almost as enjoyable as performing the tasks in any of the levels.
Speaking of which, Mail Mole‘s levels are intricately designed, even if the environmental motifs are cliche — tropical islands, snowy biomes, grassy plains, and so on. Maneuvering through each level involves bouncing on pads, breaking boxes and hitting ramps that increase Molty’s speed. While not completely open-ended, there are branching paths which offer collectibles to find and use as currency for different costumes.
While Mail Mole isn’t groundbreaking (pun intended), the amount of charm on display is absolutely wonderful. The visuals are colorful, the controls are fantastic, and I was more than happy to consume this gaming equivalent of comfort food. It’s definitely familiar, but fans of mascot platformers have another winner on their hands here.
Disclosures: This game is published by Undercoders and developed by Talpa Games. It is currently available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC and Xbox One. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the PS4. Approximately 6 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode and the game was completed. There is no multiplayer.
Parents: According to the ESRB this game is rated E for Mild Fantasy Violence. The game is pretty harmless, with very light violence and nothing objectionable in the dialogue.
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: There are visual cues and subtitles. They cannot be adjusted but the game is fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: The game does not feature remappable controls or a diagram, but there is a tutorial in the beginning and hints pop up from time to time.
He has a knack for talking about movies and games he‘s passionate about. If anyone ever needs an expert on Jim Jarmusch, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Donkey Kong Country or Kanye West, he’s your guy. Don’t say we didn't warn you, though.
He can be found on Twitter and his weekly podcast, The Waypoint Set Podcast, where he manages to get some important guests before promptly talking their ears off.