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Mr. Postman (Taiwan Cooper/ Bit Corp.)

DoctorSpuds

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Whoever programmed this game knocked it right out of the park since Mr. Postman is one of the most varied and interesting games I’ve ever played. When you look on the Atari Mania page for Mr. Postman you’ll see that it has been released by almost all of the cheap bootleg publishers out there, from Brazil to Australia and almost everywhere in between, this game has permeated the Atari 2600 library like a virus. I am unsure of who actually programmed this game originally, was it Bit Corp. or was it CCE? I really don’t know and when you’re this deep down the rabbit hole not knowing is a pretty common occurrence. I recently acquired a Taiwan Cooper variant from Venezuela and after only having played Mr. Postman on an emulator it was really a treat to play it on actual hardware with a real controller. Suffice to say I will enjoy reviewing this game considerably but before I get into that I must first transcribe what is written on the back as is customary at this point.

 

Your mission is to protect the Mr. Postman

Sending a secret letter safely to Silent

City. To press the button is to make Mr.

Postman should keep away from hails and the

Eagle, or you press the button to shoot

Down them. Mr. Postman can not touch the

Wall as he is walking on the street, other-

Wise all will be gone.

 

Well that was a mess…

 

This game reminds me very much of the graphical styling’s of Snail Vs. Squirrel, Bobby is going home, the PAL version of Open Sesame, and the PAL release of Dishaster/ Dancing Plates, so it’s very likely that this is indeed a Bit Corp. release ,since they really loved their bright, colorful, and detailed graphics over there. Right off the bat I have to point out a little problem with the graphics and this ties in with the box the game came in, the box shows a bird resembling a bald eagle dressed as a mailman delivering a hot pink letter but the game has you controlling a teddy bear, hmmm that doesn’t make sense, I’m getting flashbacks of Open Sesame. This game, apart from what I have already pointed out, looks vibrant and colorful, not to mention complex. Mr. Postman is a game in three screens, the playable and unskippable intro screen the main game screens, and the City of Silence. All the screens on display are bright and colorful and full of detail, it all feels very Bit Corp-esque. The only things that really jump out at me as ‘worth mentioning’ are the smoothness of the swinging vine on the intro screen and the very impressive and fluid lightning movement on the game screens, it truly is one of the most fluidly moving things I’ve ever seen on the 2600,it almost seems alive.

 

This is a very musically inclined game; simply walking will have the game play a musical jingle. There are unique, but simple, melodies that play whenever you are either walking or climbing, there is also a simple tune that plays when you are hit by a projectile, and there is a slightly longer tune that plays when you complete the intro screen. The game screens are conspicuously lacking any musical accompaniment, apart from when you are hit of course, all you’ll hear are the sounds of the Postman shooting his gun into the sky. When you reach the City of Silence another tune start to play it sounds very much like the tune you hear when you complete the intro screen but that’s just me.

 

As stated before Mr. Postman has three screens to it, the intro screen, the game screen which has three palette swaps, and the City of Silence, each has a very different play style to it so let’s start with the intro screen. The intro screen is probably the most unique part of the game; it’s also the most nonsensical. You must move the postman along the ground whilst avoiding projectiles from a giant eagle; you must then climb the wall, again while avoiding projectiles. Once you are at the top of the wall you must then jump to a swinging vine from which you must drop and land on top of the eagle’s head thereby allowing you to control it. From the intro screen you then move onto the game screens –I call them the ‘games’ screens since you spend most of the game on them- where you must shoot falling hail with your ‘gun’ as well as killer birds flying above the lightning shooting clouds. The killer birds pose absolutely no threat to you unlike what their name implies, the real killer on this screen is the hail and occasionally the lightning, but since it moves down the screen at a leisurely pace you can usually avoid it pretty well. The hail on the other hand is quite ruthless; it will fall from random locations near the top of the screen so I would recommend you get rid of all of it and then shoot down the birds. There are three game screens; each has an increased amount of hail and killer birds, when you shoot your way through those you will enter the City of Silence. To get past the city of silence you must simply navigate your way through the narrow corridors to the rainbow house on the other side of the screen, the City of Silence is oddly shaped like a butterfly for no particular reason. Once you get to the rainbow house you are dropped back at the intro screen to begin play one more time, but presumably at a higher difficulty.

 

Mr. Postman is a weird and wonderful game that makes absolutely zero since the whole time you’re playing it; it’s an absolute fever dream. Unfortunately since this is one of THOSE games that are usually only available through sporadically appearing Ebay listings it’s a bit difficult to get a hold of. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to get one from Venezuela for about 13$ in box, but since nobody really knows how many of these are out there I would recommend snapping up any copy that shows up who knows when the well will dry up.

 

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