Review by Bobby ‘biscuit hipster’ Davies
I’m 30 seconds into Willowbrooke Post, and I’ve already had to shell out 200 Gild to replace the window at the train station ticket office. The bell was broken, a note said to knock on the window, and I may be been a tad “over exuberant” with my knocking. This bodes well.
Willowbrooke Post, the self-titled “Story-based Job Management Game” from Dante Knoxx is currently in early access on Steam and promises to let you enact your wildest fantasy of being the old lady behind the counter at your local Post Office. Taking over your parents’ Post Office in the quaint village of Willowbrooke you’ll check for bad addresses, overweight parcels, stamp everything and interact with the locals to increase your reputation with them.
In practice, Willowbrooke plays like you’re a Papers Please-esque guard with chronic fatigue syndrome. An ever-decreasing stamina bar ensures that you’re constantly eating, scavenging scraps of food from your own mail, getting fines for using the wrong stamps and having to sleep for about 15 hours a day, lest you fall asleep at the desk and wake up the next afternoon. Idyllic town life this is not, no wonder my parents went globetrotting to escape this fresh hell. They even left my childhood bedroom as it was, apparently, they trusted me with darts as a child?
Now, I’m willing to cut Willowbrooke Post some slack, it is still in Early Access after all and there’s plenty of bugs that can be ironed out and some mechanics that need tweaking for sure. Random lightbulb explosions, why do you exist? Why do you taunt me so? I’d like to come back to this in six months time or so, once the game fully launches. When the real world can often seem like and endless stream of arguments, controversy, and bad news, some cute escapism is the perfect thing. Hopefully Future-Willowbrooke loses the survival mechanics and tightens itself up a bit to make a more pleasurable experience, one befitting it’s sleepy little town.
5/10 – There’s promise, I just hope it executes on it in the future.