Tom the postgirl preview – Compelling, disturbing, and delightful

Tom the postgirl is a weird little game perfect for those enamoured with the macabre.
tom the postgirl demo preview

Like Fran Bow and Edgar & Ellen before it, Tom the postgirl revels in the juxtaposition between sweet innocence and all-out horror, with its gothic tale elevated by a real sense of whimsy and silliness. As part of LudoNarraCon 2024, the game is now available to play in demo form, and it’s an easy recommend for those fascinated by the compelling, disturbing, and strange.

In this narrative adventure, you are a young girl named Tom, whose origins are mysterious and unclear. As the title suggests, she works as a postgirl – but she’s perhaps one of the worst postgirls of all time. In linear fashion, she makes her rounds through her neighbourhood, making keen choices based on what she observes.

The game’s mechanics are fairly simple. Tom may peek into the windows of the buildings in her neighbourhood, for as long as she desires. Then, she must make a choice: deliver packages as intended, or open them up, and deploy their contents.

It’s a test of conscience, really. You observe the folks of Tom’s village, and make a judgement call as to whether they deserve their packages. If you peer in the window and see a crass or hideous act – and this game is particularly macabre at times, so fair warning of content – you may decide not to deliver the package.

Read: LudoNarraCon 2024 will feature 20+ new game demos

>tom the postgirl game
Image: Oopsie Daisies

In one instance, I caught a strange sight in the town barn, and decided the local farmer wasn’t worth the package he’d ordered. On opening it, Tom received a fire extinguisher – but there was no fire. So she took it out, washed the horse with the entire contents, and then stood watching as the barn immediately caught on fire.

That’s the sort of laughable irony you’ll find in most locations of Tom the postgirl. The kind that makes you say “oops” and move on as quickly as possible. If there’d been a fire extinguisher nearby, maybe the barn could’ve been saved. But you used it to wash a very annoyed horse. Maybe if you hadn’t opened the package, the fire could’ve been prevented. Oops. Oh well.

In the game’s third mini-chapter, a similar circumstance played out. I looked in the window of a home, saw something I didn’t like, and out of spite, I opened the house’s package. Inside was a saw. And look! A nearby tree! The intent is clear, right? You take the saw, and you split the tree.

What I didn’t see in this particularly grim locale, was a sign that read “BEWARE DOG” in big letters. Of course, the dog is hidden behind the fence. Behind the tree. The tree which you cut down. It’s all a very grim affair – but at the very least, one held aloft with a charming, storybook art style and a compelling sense of black comedy.

In an alternative version of this scene, the saw is used with even grimmer intent – so you have to weigh on balance what you think the delivered packages may be for, and what they may do.

Just don’t think too deeply about Tom the postgirl and its titular wrecking ball of terror. Let the narrative play out, and you’ll find a consistently surprising, grim world that oozes charm and innocence, even with in its inherent creepiness.

At the end of the game’s demo, I was greeted with my shame: a list of sins I’d committed in the deliverance of my packages. While I helped a church to party hard, I’d also indulged in a range of other offences, borne of my curiosity:

>tom the postgirl game
Image: Oopsie Daisies

While Tom the Postgirl doesn’t present you with a plethora of choices in your journey, as it’s a relatively linear and simple affair, it’s in the art and intention of this adventure that you’ll likely find love. Tom is a very strange girl, and possibly deeply disturbed, but with her wide eyes and raincoat, she’s also the picture of endearing innocence. You want to help her on her rounds. You want to know more about her past.

And as the game’s demo closes, you want to know more about her mysterious stalker, and the strange dance that will inevitably follow in the game’s next chapters. Tom the postgirl is deeply odd and dark, more disturbing with every package and every window peer. But it’s that oddness that keeps you hooked on every tiny step.

It won’t be a game for everyone, but if you’re intrigued by dark, gothic worlds, then Tom the postgirl is certainly an adventure game to watch. The game will likely twist and turn using its demo as a base, but whatever it turns out to be, we’ll be watching.

The demo for Tom the postgirl is now available to download and play on Steam, as part of LudoNarraCon 2024.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.