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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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132
Chris Bourne

Michael starts out his days work with a conventional post van. However, such is the line of his work and the ferociousness of the locals, that he will need to upgrade it quite considerably.

Before Michael can get anywhere in the game he must collect various items from the post boxes along the way. He doesn't have any keys so he must use his initiative to get them open. The odd bomb found in the road will blast an adequate hole in them, but these are few and far between. Amongst the goodies found in the post boxes there is also the equipment needed to upgrade Michael's van. Anti-personnel rockets will make short work of any post box until he can find the skeleton keys, these can also hassle the locals. There is a super pursuit mode which turns the post van into something totally different so that it will speed along at a fair old rate.

The objective of the game is to exchange postal sacks for letters to be delivered. When Michael visits the sorting Depot, house numbers will light up at the bottom of the screen. The number of these houses will depend on how many postal sacks Michael has deposited in the' In' shute at the sorting office. Michael must then visit each house indicated to deliver the letters.

All the controls are icon driven in the game. Pressing fire when Michael is in the van or standing very close to it will get him into the menu. Michael can move the cursor over the required option and this will activate it. Michael starts the game with very few options on this menu, but as he picks up various objects the options increase.

The inhabitants of this town are very aggressive characters and will try their utmost to hassle Michael when he's trying to carry out his job. When Michael gets hassled by one of these people he will sustain damage which can be checked by looking at the first aid icon. If Michael's damage gets too high then S.K.I.T may suggest a quick visit to the hospital. These nasty characters in the game can be killed by running them over in the van. However, if an innocent citizen gets killed then points are deducted and Michael is arrested by the local policeman. If Michael gets arrested too often, or if he runs over a policeman, then the game is over.

CRITICISM

'First impressions of the awful graphics were with me right the way through my playing session of Mailstrom. I must say that it ruined my admiration for Postman Pat, upholder of the peace, and generally right do-er. The game's main high is the ideas incorporated in it, but I think that the Implementation is sorely lacking. Maybe the programmer of this could get together with Jonathon Smith, or someone with similar talent, and then maybe we would see a game really worth playing; how about it ocean?'

'This game really appeals to me, this is mainly due to the sick sense of humour of the programmers. The gameplay isn't really very slick but N you stick with it Mailstrom will grow on you, although I can't really see myself playing it for very long. The graphics are fair, the characters are nicely animated but not well drawn and the street is well detailed but it scrolls badly. I can't really recommend this one, for eight quid you should get a game that will keep you occupied for more than an afternoon'

'My, what a strange game this is. And to see OCEAN publishing it is twice the surprise. Mailstrom is a very simple game to get into but has nothing to keep any self-respecting game player attached for any length of time. The way the game is presented is quite good, with a redesigned character set and a nice screen layout. The graphics are small and rather dull. A very basic game at a high price.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Up-Keys Q to P on the second row, Down-keys A to ENTER on the third row, Left=CAPS SHIFT and alternate keys on the bottom row, Right-Z and alternate keys on the bottom row, Fire=Keys 1 to 0 on the top row
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: responsive
Use of colour: unimaginative
Graphics: rather slow
Sound: spot effects
Skill levels: one
Screens: scrolling play area
General Rating: A bit of a laugh.

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Screenshot Text

delivery to the dept, all in a days work to your average axe weilding homicidle postman.

Postman Nasty hares away from the sorting office in super pursuit mode.