The Game’s Afoot!

victorian-board-game

Imagine a world where mail at Christmas — and any other time of the year — was so ubiquitous, you could devise a game around it. I know nothing about this Victorian board game entitled Christmas Mail except that it was once sold to and played by families more than a century ago.

What might have been the objective — to deliver more letters than anyone else, to receive more cards, or perhaps to maneuver past obstacles like snowed in mountain passes or spooky forests to place children’s Christmas wish lists into the hands of the big guy in red?

Whatever that game’s original goals, my own game of Christmas Mail has but two: send out Christmas cards in time for friends and family to open them by December 25th (a date I don’t always meet), and maybe collect a few from my mailbox in return.

Let’s Play Mister Mailman

Mr Mailman Board GameDespite many an article lamenting the end of snail mail, GameBrotherZ, a Canadian company founded in 2008, believes in the mail enough to have created the new board game, Mister Mailman. The objective? Four mailmen compete to see who will be the first to deliver 27 letters in Mailville.

The manufacturer states: “Welcome to Mailville, a quiet little town, but unique in so many ways! Once in a while, simply for the fun of it or for showing off their talent, our friendly mailmen stage a unique competition around town… to deliver a letter to each of the town’s households, to be followed by a final delivery to the luxurious O’Gilded Family Manor.”

With four letter carriers to deliver mail to fewer than 30 households, Mailville is indeed unique. It must make for a remarkably short post office workday.

But the point of a game is enjoyment rather than realism, and the game testers for The Noise on Toys website say that Mister Mailman delivers. According to Davey, “It’s fun. You can make someone win or lose. You can land on anything and sometimes you can change the weather.”

Change the weather? I like the sound of that. I bet your local letter carrier would, too.