Deliver the Most Parcels in USPS: The Great American Mail Race | Casual Game Revolution

Deliver the Most Parcels in USPS: The Great American Mail Race

 USPS: The Great American Mail Race

Get in your mail truck, rev the engine, and get ready for a race around the country to deliver all the mail: postcards, letters, and packages. By mule, by bike, by train, or even by rocket! The race is on.

Published by Big Potato Games, USPS: The Great American Mail Race is a pick-up-and-deliver game, with take-that elements and a whole bunch of mail.


The board shows a map of America, with various town names spread across it and paths connecting them. There are different types of paths: water, roads, and trails. Some town spaces show a railway or an airport icon. The map is divided into four colored regions, with each section having a central depot space. Each player chooses a color (each color corresponds to one region, which will be your home region) and takes the mail truck in that color along with a bicycle card.

There are four decks of mail cards, one for each region. At the start of the game, one mail cube is placed at the depot of each region, and a mail card is drawn from each deck to determine where those mail cubes want to go. You also draw one card from the postcard deck and place the postcard tile in the city listed on that card.

On your turn you take three actions, with two types of actions to choose from. You can take a transport card, choosing to either draw from the deck or take one of the three face-up cards (a new card is instantly drawn to replace it if you take from the face-up display). Or you can play a transport card.

Transport cards come in different types, allowing you to move on different types of paths and for different amounts of spaces. You can always use your bicycle card twice on your turn, and it is the only card that you do not discard after use. Train and plane cards allow you to move between any train stations or airports on the board as a movement.

When moving you must move the exact number shown on your card, you cannot double back on yourself, and while you can move onto a space with another player, you cannot end your turn on a space with a player. If you pass through a location with another player, however, you can choose to take a mail cube from his truck or move one from your truck onto his.

In order to pick up mail, you must end a movement action on a depot that currently holds a mail cube. A mailbox tile is then placed on the city where that cube needs to be delivered and you take the mail card. You can hold up to two pieces of undelivered mail at a time.

When you land on (not pass through) the correct delivery city, the mail is automatically delivered. Postcards are automatically delivered when you land on the city with the postcard tile. You then make a stamp on your delivery slip, indicating if you delivered a letter, parcel, or postcard. If you have not delivered mail from the region the piece of mail originated in, you stamp that region on your slip. There are also four bonus delivery goals: same day (deliver the mail on the same turn that you picked it up), two fragile bonuses (mail that was marked fragile that you delivered without using any air transport cards), and home delivery (making a delivery that originated in your home region). A new card is then drawn from the deck you just delivered from, and the mail cube is placed again in that region’s depot.

The game ends once the transport deck has run out and everyone has had a final turn. You then calculate your score. You earn points based on how many letters, parcels, and postcards you delivered and earn a bonus for each set of all three that you delivered. You also earn points for the bonus delivery goals and how many of the four regions you delivered for. Finally, you lose three points for each piece of undelivered mail currently on your truck. The player with the most points wins the game.

USPS: The Great American Mail Race components


The rules and gameplay of USPS: The Great American Mail Race are simple, which makes it easy to focus on the core puzzle of the game: how to make the most out of your movement. When do you swing by to pick up a postcard? When do you use your big transport cards and when do you choose to move slower? Which deliveries should you pick up, and can you get there before other players?

Based on the way the transport card deck is prepared at the start of the game, as the game progresses the transport cards tend to become more and more powerful, allowing you to travel greater distances more quickly. This leads to a solid game escalation as well as keeping the game moving at a nice, brisk pace.

You need to balance both collecting cards with playing them, while the bicycle cards are effective at ensuring you always have an option to move every turn. The challenge of the game comes in racing other players to pick up packages, planning out your routes to move effectively, and collecting transport cards to help with that. This all becomes a lot easier in a two-player game where there is likely to be less direct head-to-head between the players, as there is nothing in the rules to balance the game or alter the setup for different player counts.

The map does not use big, easily recognizable town names. There is no New York or Phoenix on the board. But while that means you have to hunt for specific spaces when you first start playing, we enjoyed this touch as it gave the game more character (who knew there was a Chicken, Alaska?).

A couple of rules or transport cards could have used a bit of clarification in the rulebook, but in general, the production value is excellent, with a real eye for detail in the components. The rules come in an envelope, and rather than forming a booklet they consist of several pages like a letter. The mail trucks are fun to play with and move around the map, and the mailbox tiles are quite helpful for keeping track of where you have to deliver your mail. Also, there’s an actual stamp included in the game, made to look like a mailbox. It should be mentioned that the stamp does not come with ink already on it. Ink is included in the game but it can be a bit messy to apply, so you can also just use a pencil to mark your slips if playing somewhere that you’re concerned about making a mess.

From it's fun and light but clever puzzle, to its great table presence USPS: The Great American Mail Race is an enjoyable pick-up-and-deliver game with a surprisingly take-that feel when you ‘assist’ each other with your packages. The scoring system is simple but effective, and the game is nicely challenging. If you enjoy the genre, with take-that and race elements, USPS: The Great American Mail Race will deliver fun for your next game night.

Pros: Excellent table presence, simple but effective scoring system, player interaction, interesting choices every turn

Cons: Doesn’t play quite the same with two players, a couple of points could use clarification, ink can be a bit messy

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.