Postal: Special Delivery
  3 stars

October 18, 1998
by Gord Bowes

SRP: Postal + Special Delivery: $40   Special Delivery (requires Postal): $25
Running With Scissors
Download Demo

Pros: unabashed violence; fast-paced action
Cons: unabashed violence; only four levels; heavy RAM requirements

     Postal: Special Delivery stars off where the original game ended and increases the over-the-top senseless violence of the initial outing. If you are at all squeamish, stay miles away from the Postal franchise. However, if you are a big fan of games like Carmageddon, and realize that it is a game and not real life, you're sure to enjoy the demented humor.

     As in Postal, your character is "Postal Dude," a guy who wakes up one morning thinking the world is out to get him, so naturally you have to go get everyone else first. Fortunately, you have a never-ending supply of machine gun rounds and there are plenty of extra weapons to pick up along the way as you shoot up, or blow up, a few dozen "hostiles" on each level.

     The 3/4 view action game makes navigating easy, leaving you free to maim and kill with just the basic arrow keys for movement, and a few others to fire, run, and change weapons.

screenshot     Unlike most other games, where the object is to kill hordes of monsters or aliens, in the Postal series you shoot humans like yourself, some with weapons and some who are innocent bystanders. This has brought some objections from some fronts, mostly those who don't play games, but for regular gamers with a sense of humor, Postal is an extraordinarily unique and amusing game. Running With Scissors, the game's creator, obviously has had some fun while making the game, and likes to go "over the top" to get some extra attention. Cut screen titles like "Blessed are the meek for they make easy targets" and "Watch out for falling prices, falling employees, falling shoppers . . ." attest to their Howard Stern-like desire to bring on controversy while pleasing the faithful. As a result, however, Postal is hard to find in your local store but can be purchased through their site.

     Special Delivery adds new bystanders and settings, including shoppers in a department store, nudists, lawyers and golfers at a resort, homeless people in a shanty town, and Red Cross workers in an earthquake stricken downtown area. Also new in Special Delivery is an improved, but still difficult, level editor/creator, faster game engine and the ability to "spawn" a multiplayer game so extra CDs are not required.

     The biggest problem with the expansion pack is that it is far too short. There are only four levels in Special Delivery, versus the original Postal's 16, and the levels are not much bigger than in the original. As interesting as they are, and in as much as they are better than free levels others have created, it is possible for most players to get through all four levels in one evening of play. Despite the fact that the Though the add-on pack is only about $25 (U.S.), this really cuts into the value, even with an improved level editor and slightly faster game engine.

     Perhaps the only other downside to Postal and the expansion pack are its memory demands. Diablo, a similar if not more complex game, requires 20 MB but Postal needs 34 MB. Of course, with games like Unreal that need at least 80 MB, 34 MB doesn't sound like such a high demand. On the plus side, Postal can be played on an 040.

     Postal: Special Delivery is a nice, albeit small, collection of new levels, which will serve as a temporary pacifier for those who crave going Postal all over again. The improved game engine and editor, and ability to spawn a multiplayer game are also nice additions. This may be great for Postal fans, but anyone who tired quickly of the original after playing it once won't be any more impressed by the overpriced sequel. However, for someone does not own the original, getting Postal and Special Delivery in a bundle for about $40 is a good deal. tr

© 1998 The MacNN Review