The Courier launches for Xbox Series X|S later this year as an open-world adventure all about running a mail delivery business. It promises puzzles, secrets, and mysteries, so we reached out to developer Crescent Moon Games to learn more, with founder Josh Presseisen having been kind enough to answer our questions.
Looking for your next open-world adventure game? The Courier will have you delivering letters, uncovering secrets, and exploring the land around the island of Orda when it launches later this year.
What is The Courier?
The Courier is an open-world adventure game in which we’re tasked with running a mail delivery business on a “mysterious island,” Presseisen says. “The more letters you deliver, the more you uncover about the island’s secrets. Explore a vibrant living world, make use of various vehicles to travel around, do tons of challenges, and complete a compelling and mysterious main storyline.” The Courier is in development from Crescent Moon Games and is published by PM Studios.
When does The Courier launch?
We don’t yet have a launch date for The Courier, but we know it’s coming to Xbox Series X|S later this year — we’ll keep you posted!
What’s it about?
The Courier is keeping its cards close to its chest with regards to its storyline. According to the game’s Steam page, there are “dark secrets” to be uncovered during the “compelling and mysterious main storyline.” To start with, Presseisen tells us that “on the lonely island of Orda, Alfred Wembley has decided it’s time for his daughter to take over the family business at the central post office. Jana, Alfred’s daughter, is now tasked with delivering all mail on the island.” The Courier seems like a light-hearted, upbeat game, and we were curious about what those “dark secrets” could mean for its storyline — whether it heads into more sombre territory. “It does not head there immediately,” Presseisen says. “There are still some fun times in the game before it goes to the dark side a bit. We wanted to make this reflect some of the problems that the real world has, without going into too deeply, but letting players be aware of things going on outside of the gaming world.”
Presseisen tells us a little more, too: “The diverse landscape of the island brings its own challenges as [Jana] will have to find clever ways to deliver the letters. As she will soon discover, the island has a deep secret, that no one seems to be talking about. The Secret of Bromley Bringles!” And who is Bromley Bringles? “A local inventor but more well known as the repair man of the island,” Presseisen explains. “Jana will find out that Bromley has gone missing, and starts to uncover clues about his whereabouts and the powerful secret invention he has been working on. Parts of Bromley’s machine are scattered throughout the island (and smaller islands) and will be found or obtained via NPCs.”
It’s an interesting choice, to have the game revolve around running a mail delivery business, and we wondered what the inspiration behind it might have been. “Exploration games I’ve played a lot of, I really like the feeling of finding new items, or things to do,” Presseisen replies. “Delivering some mail gives more of a purpose for exploring, and meeting new NPCs, getting a feeling for their backstories.”
How does The Courier play?
So, delivering mail will be a key part, as will exploring the open world. The Courier offers over eight hours of gameplay, which also includes environmental puzzles and mini games. Traversal will also be important — “riding a bike, taking a boat to other islands, skiing, hang gliding, there are all sorts of ways to get around in this game,” Presseisen tells us. “The gameplay revolves around meeting new NPCs and following a storyline, delivering the mail and finding fun things to do,” Presseisen adds. “You’ll be doing a lot of traveling, so you’ll have a handy bike to hop on and ride.” On top of that, “there are chores and other small quests that you can do to earn shells, which are the currency of the game. These consist of delivering mail (obviously), mowing the lawn, finding lost items, going off jump ramps, hang gliding, skiing, boating, fishing, finding missing NPCs, robot parts, and a whole lot more.” We’ll apparently find most puzzles in caves around the islands. “These puzzles involve switches, moving rocks, speaking to NPCs, and so on.”
What’s the world like?
“The island of Orda itself is full of nooks and crannies to explore, new characters to meet, shops to visit, and many things to do,” Presseisen explains. “But this is not the only island! There are others as well.” In fact, “the exploration of the island itself” is what Presseisen is most excited for players to experience in The Courier. “I believe it has a very organic feeling of discovery as you travel through the different areas of the game,” Presseisen adds.
The colourful art style of The Courier seems to represent the more upbeat nature of its gameplay. “We had a lot of different inspirations for the game’s art style — ranging from a watercolour painted 3D look to looking at other games, such as Rime, Bastion, and Zelda,” Presseisen tells us. “We wanted it to be vibrant but have a retro/vintage feel as well.”
Any news on The Courier achievements?
We don’t yet have The Courier achievements, but Presseisen gave us an idea of what to expect. “We plan to have things like completing all of the mini games on the first island, catching a certain number of fish, hitting all the jump ramps, meeting all the NPCs, things like that,” Presseisen says. The descriptions of The Courier make it clear that we’ll have our fair share of challenges, and we wondered whether there were any achievements tied to these challenges, or to completing all of them. “Definitely, we plan to use achievements for many of the activities we have in the game. We are still finishing up the content, but after that we plan to implement these achievements,” Presseisen says. And what makes for an ideal achievement list in Presseisen’s opinion? “An ideal list would have players doing all sorts of different things in the game, not just achievements of one type, like collecting, but also doing things that are meaningful to the gameplay itself that let the player experience more of the game, just by trying to achieve,” Presseisen says. “Exploration achievements would be most ideal to have. Obviously delivering mail will be near the top of the list too.”
You can play these upcoming Xbox games today, including The Courier, thanks to Steam Next Fest. The Courier was also featured in the recent Wholesome Direct event, for any fans of wholesome games. So, what do you think? Will you be delivering mail in The Courier later this year? Let us know in the comments!