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Ocean Software Ltd
1986
Arcade: Adventure
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

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34
Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

Well I sort of like this. It reminds me vaguely of Postman Pat the kids all-action program about the adventures of a postman. He has a red van. Its very nice.

Anyway Mailstrom, a postman game set towards the dawn of the 21st century where, curiously, Michael Nasty drives Skit (are bells ringing?) a bright red van, determined to get the post through at any cost in a post nuclear world of anarchy and destruction. This is an unusual plot for an arcade game.

The story goes like this: collect letters from the sorting office, a series of lights then indicates which houses must have a letter delivered to them. As you drive around you will pass post boxes from which you must collect bags of mail. Unlike conventional postmen you feel that a mere key is not an adequate means of opening the box, the answer? Bombs.

The mixture of letter delivery, letter collection, avoiding muggers and exploding post boxes forms the sum total of the game. Though it has various icon controls there really isn't very much to it. The conflict in the game resides merely in trying to meet the sack collecting required set each day. Complex it isn't.

The graphics are pretty good, although technically the game doesn't really pose many problems. The van moves slowly (well the street scrolls behind it) and sometimes Michael has to get out to blow up a post box but the areas of movement are carefully controlled so there is little colour clash. The van is red (a surprise that) the backgrounds are a sort of shaded black and white - quite effective actually - very post apocalypse film noir.

As a game, well I enjoyed it a surprising amount, chugging around in my little van delivering the mail but then I always was a bit simple. I don't think it will retain a long term appeal. I'd give it a life of only a couple of weeks. Still, in its own terms a successful little game.

Label: Ocean
Author: Reptile Industries
Price: £7.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

***

Possibly the only postman game to be set in the 21st century clever ideas but not likely to have long term appeal.

3/5