One of the habits that I picked up from my days writing about mobile games on Gamezebo is that each week I religiously check out the latest iOS games released in the App Store. While not every release is highlighted on the front page, the sampling usually features the week’s top-quality games, or a quick glance at the Top Grossing/Top Free charts reveals additional results.
A few weeks ago Postknight appeared in the new releases section and I decided that the game looked unique enough to warrant a download. Postknight features cartoon-styled visuals, an equipment system that altered the visuals of the player’s character and not just the stats (something that always bugs me in RPGs, but more on that later), and a unique story where the player is tasked with delivering mail in a fantasy world.
That premise sounds boring; delivering mail isn’t exactly what people take a break from reality to do in a video game, but then consider that in a fantasy RPG world, the mailmen/mailwomen have to deliver the mail in the same conditions that adventurers and heroes travel in. A giant slime monster isn’t going to distinguish between a battle-hardened knight or a delivery person, it’s going to attack whatever it wants to because it’s a giant slime monster.
Understanding this concept is key to understanding why your duty as a postknight is so important. It’s the motivation to complete the delivery whether in snow/rain/monster attack. On top of that motivation is the fact that Postknight is simply a very fun game to play.
I know that I’ve mentioned that Postknight takes place in a world that’s reminiscent of an RPG, but it’s important to know that Postknight is not a full-blown RPG experience. Instead, it takes key elements of an RPG and simplifies them. This allows the player some basic character customization options, while not making the game overly-complex. Completing a delivery grants experience points that will add up and eventually level-up your postknight. Hitting each character level grants a certain number of skill points that players can use to tweak the postknight’s four basic statistics: one grants increased damage output, another grants increased HP, another increases magic resistance and XP gain, and the fourth increases the chance of landing a critical hit.
So while you can customize your postknight’s stats, you can’t, for example, completely change the player class to be a postknight who plays like a sneaky archer, or a wizard. After all, you are a postknight and not a fireball-spouting wizard.
Gameplay involves going out on a delivery through a dangerous route. The postknight automatically runs and attacks enemies when the postknight runs into them, so there’s no need to control movement or basic attacks. Players just need to hit the power-attack button, the shield button, and the use-potion button, as needed.
It sounds boring in text, but there is a lot of timing involved in the actual gameplay. Melee enemies will temporarily stop the Postknight in their tracks, and ranged attacks will bump the postknight further back down the road. Using the shield-block negates some of the bounce-back and incoming damage, but the ability only lasts for a few seconds before it needs to recover in a cool-down period. The power-attack launches the postknight forward, allowing the postknight to blast through some weaker enemies, or quickly close a distance in order to get back into melee range. Finally, the use-potion ability is pretty self-explanatory, every few seconds players can take a sip of their potion which regenerates a bit of health. Doing so won’t ever refill your health bar, but it will help to keep you alive for a bit longer.
As previously mentioned, when you get gear in Postknight, it actually applies to your character. Many mobile RPGs take the easy way out and keep one player model and have items only affect the background stats. In Postknight, when you loot a cool helmet and put it on, you’ll be wearing that fancy new helmet out on your next delivery. It’s a little detail, but it’s always a pet peeve of mine when this isn’t the case.
Postknight has been the surprise hit of the month. The game is really easy to get into and get going, there are no complex rules to learn and remember, and the game (for being a free-to-play mobile game) is also very generous with the amount of game you can play at one time. Basically, your health is your gameplay timer. At the end of each run your health will gradually refill, allowing you to continue playing the next level. As long as you’re over a certain threshold, you can start the next delivery with some health missing, but it just makes the most sense to start a mission with as much health as possible. Upgrades can be purchased which increase the amount of health that regenerates every second, but I typically have enough health to play one or two missions back-to-back, which is usually just enough time to spend with a quick, mobile gameplay session.
VERDICT: Postknight is a charming, lightweight RPG, that offers players quick-and-easy gameplay without sacrificing anything for the sake of obtaining revenue from the player. Postknight is an easy mobile game recommendation.