Review – Mail Mole

Mail Mole is a tiny little indie game being developed by a team that doesn’t shy away from the fact it is fully comprised of recent college graduates. Their first professional project is a 3D mascot platform clearly inspired by Mario 64 and other titles released during the golden age of the genre. What to expect from a group of fresh minds wanting to carve their spot in the industry? Let’s find out.

Mail Mole

Dig like a mole, jump like a dolphin.

In this game you control Molty, the titular mail mole, as you guide him through a series of linear levels in order to… turn on electrical generators and save the world of Carrotland from some apparent disaster. Honestly, the plot doesn’t make a lot of sense, nor is it very interesting, but the sole fact that there is one to begin with already impressed me. I was expecting much less than that. The gist is simple: explore the initial hub world, walk towards a cannon that will transport you to one of the game’s many worlds, pick a level, reach the final gate, and make sure to collect as many carrots and radishes during your journey.

The game takes its gameplay and level progression inspirations from classic 3D platformers, but there’s this little twist: since you’re a mole, you’re not exactly going to jump around like an Italian plumber. You’ll spend most of your time burrowed underground, running around like the digging mechanic featured in Super Lucky’s Tale. Molty will still jump from platform to platform and even ground pound every now and then, but Mail Mole is less about acrobatics and more about momentum-based jumping. You’ll also need to know which surfaces you can and cannot dig into.

Mail Mole Owl

I guess that the world of Mail Mole and the Hundred Acre Wood aren’t so different after all.

It’s an interesting, albeit not exactly revolutionary concept. With the exception of one “boost” mechanic where you have to time a button press right before the mail mole burrows back into the ground after a jump, the controls are very simple and responsive. Sadly, the level design is nowhere near as interesting as a game like this basically demands it to be.

With the exception of the occasionally well-hidden radish (one of the game’s two macguffins used to unlock new costumes for your titular character), Mail Mole‘s level design is a bit too bland. Levels aren’t very inventive, with simple puzzles and not a lot to look forward to besides the radishes. They are also themed after the most generic things you’d expect from a 3D platformer: there is a forest world, an ice world, a desert world, a beach world, and so on.

Mail Mole Boss

So how can these spike balls hurt me if I’m burrowed underground??

With that being said, Mail Mole succeeds at one thing that many other Switch platformers have failed at: it manages to run at 60fps, no matter if you’re on docked or portable mode. Even if levels, for the most part, look boring and repetitive, the handful of animal characters in the game are actually quite cute, especially the titular mail mole. Everything is really colorful and cheerful. Sadly, the same cannot be said about the sound department. This is your typical game whose soundtrack is so forgettable you’ll occasionally forget there is sound coming out of your Switch while you’re playing the damn game.

I like the fact that you can customize Molty’s outfit, but that contradicts with the fact you spend most of your time burrowed undergound.

As a project developed by a group of recently graduated game developers, Mail Mole is worthy of praise. It runs well on the Switch, it’s mostly devoid of bugs, and its character design is quite cute. Sadly, it’s a generic platformer with a very simple premise and forgettable level design. It’s fun for a few minutes at a time, but you’ll mostly forget about your experience with it after an hour or two. There is potential in this team, and I’m looking forward to seeing their next projects in the future. As for now, kudos for the effort, but this game is just passable.


Graphics: 6.0

Simplistic but cute character design and some uninspired levels. It does run at a very smooth 60fps at all times, though.

Gameplay: 6.0

With the exception of an extremely finicky diving mechanic which requires way more precision than the control scheme can provide, there aren’t many problems with Mail Mole‘s controls. The level design is a bit bland and the gameplay loop is generic.

Sound: 5.0

Mail Mole features a soundtrack that is as uneventful as it can be. It’s not particularly bad, but it’s beyond forgettable.

Fun Factor: 5.5

It’s a very simple platformer with some hidden collectibles and occasionally well-designed stages. Despite its mole-centered gimmick, you’ve played countless games like this one before. Not terrible by any means, but just generic.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Mail Mole is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Mail Mole was provided by the publisher.