Postal is one of those brands that you either love or hate. Either it comes across as the worst kind of mindless, tacky, ultra-violent nonsense, or you view it as the best kind of mindless, tacky, ultra-violent, gratuitous nonsense in a really good way.
It goes without saying that if you’re in the former category, no one here cares what you think, so you might as well take your books on needlecraft back to the library while the rest of us revel in pocket violence and semi-nudity.
It wasn’t until Running With Scissors decided to fully exploit the attention its controversial games brought to its website that the Postal Babes really came into existence. And because it's not directly attached to the un/popular PC games, the developer of this mobile title, HeroCraft, had a clean slate from which to work.
The Babes are at university - probably studying law, French literature, politics, pole dancing, that sort of thing.
The university is besieged by terrorists who take the entirely female campus hostage. Only you, as a member of the elite Postal Babes team, can free your scholastic sisters (
It’s a side-on scroller, which essentially cross-breeds brutal fighting and platforming elements. This style of accessible fighting game works a treat on the mobile screen, as it reduces the complexity of the controls but still allows for a great deal of exploration and action.
There’s actually a large enough variety of weaponry to also class this as a shooter, but considering the ass kicking Postal Babes are never too shy to resort to using their fists and stilettos the moment an enemy steps within ill-advised range, it really comes across as more of a brawler.
Baseball bats, machetes, machine guns, flame throwers, throwing knives and all manner of other vicious - but necessary - accoutrements back up your latent kung fu abilities, and all are activated by deft use of the ‘5’ button.
One nice touch to the fighting mechanics comes from accurate timing: hit a bad guy with a baseball bat (for instance) when he’s just the right distance away and you’ll lay him out with one hit. Time it badly, and he’ll keep coming, requiring you to put out a few extra moves to finish him off.
The character animations are a little stilted, though the environments and artwork are rich with detail. Portraits of one of Postal’s favourite fictional characters, George Dubya Bush, line the university hallways, while the scenery provides a cut-down parkour opportunity at many instances without ever really looking like an obvious climbing frame.
The action is every bit as bloody as you’d expect from a Postal game, with severed heads aplenty and blood-painted walls and ceilings.
One issue is with the translation, however, which has a greater than usual impact on the game as it robs Postal Babes of a fair amount of its satirical heritage.
The story is ridiculous, yet serious enough to fit in with the rest of the series quite nicely, but the dialogue and jokes really aren’t up to usual, scathing Postal standard.
With a bit more effort when it comes to the kind of language being used, Postal Babes could have been a prime addition to the franchise.
As it is, it’s something of a third party add-on - slightly watered down, but still raucous enough to just about live up to its name.