I’d never really thought about becoming a mail carrier before. Facing unpredictable weather while carrying heavy packages from doorstep to doorstep just isn’t my style (thank you mail carriers for all that you do). But becoming a mail scout in a lively forest to deliver letters (and more!) to its diverse animal residents was more than enough to change my mind. Heck yeah, sign me up.
Mail Time, developed by Kela van der Deijl and published by Freedom Games, is a cozy little exploration and light platforming game where you’re a mail scout (in training…don’t tell anyone), delivering letters to the many residents of Grumblewood Grove. You start off by customizing your character, having options for their skin and hair tones, hairstyle, outfit color, backpack style and color, and glider. There’s also a pronoun option, which is always appreciated, that can be changed at any time in game. Then your boss takes you to Grumblewood to deliver your first letter, and there is where your story begins.
In Mail Time, your main task is to deliver your first official letter to Greg, but the problem is you don’t know who he is, and it seems like no one else does either. That’s when it’s time to make your way around the Grove, completing tasks for the villagers while simultaneously trying to figure out who this Greg fellow is and how to get him his trusty letter. During your adventures, you can earn patches for delivering other letters and gliding through the sky, upgrading your mail scout (…in training…) status. You aren’t a mail scout who delivers only letters though, oh no. You’re also tasked with finding collectibles for the residents, such as coins for little Ceder or mushrooms for Toph the mycophile The variety makes each delivery task more enjoyable.
Visually, Mail Time was such a joy. The portraits in-game are adorable, and they correspond with all of the options you chose in custom creation mode. With the Grove being so big, exploring the different aesthetically pleasing areas was a delight. From a gorgeous picnic area high up in the sky, to a murky swamp that rests near a vibrant and thriving farm, I never got tired or bored of looking at all that was offered. The music was nice to listen to as well. I enjoyed that the soundtrack would change depending on what area you were in, giving all of Grumblewood Grove its own feel.
All of the residents of Grumblewood Grove are definitely ones to remember. They’re cute characters with dialogue that brought out my fun-having, energetic inner-child. My personal favorite was Soks, the surprisingly snarky caterpillar. I loved getting to know all of their unique personalities, and I loved even more that there was a story behind each letter or item delivered for them. A love letter someone was too shy to deliver, a noise complaint to a lazy and money-hungry landlord, or a top-secret letter to the “spies” in the Grove—each letter, each story, made Mail Time feel more lively, more real, and my time as a mail scout more meaningful. They also throw in some important life lessons along the way. Kaz, a bird obsessed with perfection, learns that it’s okay not to be perfect and to take some time for yourself and just have a nap. It was times like these where I felt Mail Time was talking directly to me, and whether or not it was, it was times like these I appreciated the most.
Grumblewood Grove is a big place, and I found myself getting lost up until the very end. There’s a part of me that wishes there was a map in Mail Time, but another part of me thinks that there was beauty in getting lost and having to find the animals again. There were many times that I found myself bouncing off objects while gliding, forcing me away from where I was trying to go. My motto eventually became “when there’s a will, there’s a way,” as I platformed across the Grove, but never in genuine frustration. There were some clipping issues that would fight with certain camera angles, but not in too many places. I think it would have been great if the hints you were given about the animals’ locations were jotted down in your journal instead of you having to go back to the original animal to ask. If your memory is terrible like mine, it may feel like a constant battle trying to remember where everyone is. If that doesn’t bother you though, it can definitely be seen as a fun, extra challenge.
I have always loved the “cozy game” community, and Mail Time, without a doubt, fits into this category. With its soft visuals, its soothing soundtrack, and its simplicity, Mail Time is surely a game cozy game lovers will be happy to sit down with, cuddles up in a blanket and ready to deliver.
Inanna played Mail Time on PC with a code provided by the developer.
I can’t seem to find Kaz anywhere, where do they live?
It took me a while to find them too! If you haven’t found them yet, they’re in the farm area where the big blue windmill is.
There’s a giant waterfall, and you have to go into it and turn to the left. If you keep walking, you’ll make it inside a cave and they’ll be waiting for you! Hope this helps.