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For: Mobile

First Class

Product: Postal | Developer: Ministry of Fun | Publisher: GlobalFun | Format: Mobile | Genre: Action, Hardcore, Shooter | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | Reviewed on: K800i other handsets | Version: Europe
Postal Mobile, thumbnail 1
Over the years, many famous faces have spoken out against computer games, denouncing the industry as being without merit, or at least inferior to other art forms.

Amongst the most outspoken is Prince Charles, who famously suggested that Lottery money should be spent on "more imaginative" initiatives to steer young people away from games and "towards worthwhile books".

While I personally feel that it would be more cost-effective to steer young people towards Pocket Gamer's archive of reviews so they can discern which games are worthwhile, sometimes a game comes along which leads you to question whether old Charlie might have a point.

Thankfully, despite the anti-social theme, Postal on mobile isn't one of them.

Body Count

The story follows the misadventures of main character 'Dude', who steps outside his front door only to encounter a gang of car-jackers who make off with his 'favourite car'. This acts as a catalyst for what can only be described as a rapidly escalating blood-bath as you make your way from level to level in search of the culprits.

Although there have been numerous incarnations of Postal, this version for mobile bears more of a resemblance to the original Grand Theft Auto than any of its predecessors. The top-down perspective grants a generous view of your surroundings, with serviceable graphics representing your character and the densely populated world around you.

Often the action is interrupted for a quick conversation between the protagonist and one of the many supporting characters. These encounters serve to drive the simple plot and follow a very linear path.

Flame On

Thankfully this turns out to be rather enjoyable. What Postal lacks in sophistication it more than makes up for in self-indulgent fun. Much like an action movie, the plot is secondary to the explosions. A particular highlight is the immensely satisfying flamethrower that becomes available toward the end of Story mode.

Three difficulty levels allow you to alter the stiffness of the enemies you'll face, and if you still yearn for a tougher challenge there's a very basic Survival mode with rapidly respawning policemen to gun down. This alternative game mode quickly becomes frustrating, as does the decision not to include driveable cars.

If you're looking for subtlety and nuance you're in the wrong place. This is a world where any problem can be solved by shooting someone, casual arson, or blowing something up. But although Postal is almost completely devoid of depth, it's right up there with the best in terms of action-packed fun.
Reviewer photo
Wayne Turton | 30 April 2010
It's not big and it's not clever, but empty-headed violence is rarely this much fun either
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