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Paperboy

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Released: 1984

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: Arcade

Publisher: Atari

Developer: MindScape

Submitted by: Hagen Dragmire

The arcade version of Paperboy is some thing of lore nowadays. For some reason, I am no good at the home versions of the Paperboy games, but plop me down on an arcade and I am the master! The graphics are beautiful and all the sounds bring back nostalgic memories. This is the only version that I can consistantly get to the obstacle course at the end of each day. If you have only played home ports of Paperboy, for shame! I suggest you hunt down an old arcade version and find out what you've been missing.

Paperboy

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Released: 1986

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Elite

Developer: Steve Lamb / Tony Mack

Submitted by: Crispian Driver

This classic Arcade game has been released on almost every format possible, so it must still be a very popular game.

The Arcade Machine looked great with it's handle bars and was very successful. It goes without saying that whoever released this on home computers in the mid 80's was onto a winner.

So, the game is simple enough. You're a Paperboy and must deliver papers to the Daily Suns customers. This must be done without damaging their property. On your way, you must avoid hazards such as dogs, cars, lawn mowers, men drilling, tyres and the curb. Your shop has kindly left packs of newspapers at various spots on your route so you can replenish your supplies.

If you deliver enough papers, you make it to the next day, which gets tougher. If you do really well, you gain another customer. The houses that want papers are light, the houses that don't are dark. You can unleash your dark side by smashing the windows and riding over flowers of non Daily Sun customers. At the end of your delivery is a nice little bonus BMX track with targets that you can hit with newspapers to enhance your score.

Well, to be true, my first impressions of Paperboy were not good. I'd played the Arcade, loved the handlebars, the sound and the bright colours. The Speccy version has the looks, but not of course the colours and sound.

But by 1988, i was an early morning Paperboy (had to do it to buy games). I can officially say it's the most realistic Paperboy game of the lot. Delivering papers at six in the morning on cold, dark winter mornings reminded me of my forgotten arcade game, Paperboy isn't sunny days, it's about cold dark (monochrome) mornings. Elite had hit the nail on the head. I also got chased by dogs and nearly hit by cars in real life to complete the comparison.

The game itself scrolls ok, has a little tune and plays very well on keyboard or joystick. The graphics are very well detailed, the monochrome colours allow for that detail. The hazards i'm certain are close to it's Arcade ancestor. It's actually a very good conversion, i don't think the Speccy could of done it better.

Paperboy

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Released: 1990

Genre: Sports

Format reviewed: Atari Lynx

Publisher: Atari

Developer: Atari

Submitted by: Darran Jones

If I had to use a single word to sum up Atari's conersion of its coin-op hit then I'd probably find myself opting for competant.

For while Paperboy on the Lynx is perfectly adequate and proudly stands head and shoulders above many of the home efforts, it just seems to lack the sparkle that so many Lynx conversions actually boast.

There's nothing at all wrong with the visuals – although the scrolling is a little too sedate for my tastes if I'm really honest – and the sound remains just about the right side of bearable, but there's just something missing… something I just can't quite put my finger on.

Maybe it's the lack of speech, maybe it's the tiny visuals that occassionally make things rather difficult to see, or it could be down to the somewhat sluggish controls and iffy collision detection, but Paperboy just feels a little hard to love. That's not to say fans won't enjoy it, but it's just not a Lynx game I constantly find myself returning to.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh on Paperboy, but when you've started ploughing through the Lynx's back catalogue, you quickly discover just how big a gulf there is between the truly great arcade conversions that the machine boasts and those that are just alright. Sadly, Paperboy falls firmly in the latter category.