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18/09/2009

Amiga Games - Paperboy - Commodore Amiga retro game

Amiga Games Paperboy
Another Commodore Amiga arcade conversion from Elite Software, who were pretty well respected for creating good quality versions of popular arcade games on home computers.

Atari had released Paperboy into the amusement arcades back in 1984, and it captured the imagination due to it's different concept and rather cool 'handlebar' controls.

Because of this it holds fond memories for quite a few retro gamers.

Elite software (who had already succesfully converted Bombjack to the Amiga) won the license and yet again managed to produce a good conversion from Arcade to home 16-bit machines.

Amiga Games Paperboy
The game involved controlling a paperboy and as you may have guessed, deliver newspapers to houses. Sounds like fun eh? Well, it was a lot more fun than a real paper-round, I can tell you!

This game had stood out as being different when it was released, and the mid-eighties BMX craze helped to increase it's popularity. The only problem with the Amiga version was when it was released. It came out in the Autumn on 1989 - but by this point the original game was a little 'old hat' and the BMX craze was on the wane.

Anyway, riding your BMX you would pedal up a scrolling street (rendered in a nice classic isometric view) and throw papers from your bike to the houses that required delivery. You would do this by hurling the paper into the residents mailbox to score points. If you missed the house delivery then the residents would not want a delivery the following day.

It was possible get your own back on these un-subscribers though. Pedalling through the diagonally scrolling landscape, points could also be gained by firing a newspaper missile through the window of a house with a darkened door (a non subscriber). Well aimed newspapers could result in broken window panes, chopped up tomb stones and ruffled dustbin lids. All pretty hilarious stuff.

The mean streets of Paperboy on the AmigaAnyone with a nasty streak would enjoy zapping grannies out of their bath-chairs (accompanied by a nice ZAP! graphic) as they enjoyed the early morning air, riders could be knocked off mopeds and flower beds could be flattened. Sounds a bit like my street come to think of it.

The papers (or ammo) in your delivery bag were displayed on a panel to the side of the screen, and extra papers could be collected by cycling over the boxes of newsprint dotted around the pavements. These top-ups were usually in hard to reach places and required some cute cycling to collect them unscathed.

There was more to the game than just hurling papers around the houses though. Careful cycling was needed to negotiate a variety of obstacles including dustbins, rogue rolling tyres, garden ornaments and even fire hydrants.

Pensioners would seem to walk into your path deliberately and workmen would not hear you cycling along because they were wearing ear-plugs. Skateboarders were tough to avoid as they raced around at high speed, and exploding bombs (it was a particularly rough neighbourhood) would also crop up from time to time.

Contact with any of these obstacles resulted in a collision and the loss of one of your five lives. A scrolling message would appear informing you of what a silly Paperboy you had just been.

The game took place over each day of the week and the paper-round had to be completed before you could head up to the BMX track which was located at the end of town. For some reason targets were dotted around the track and bonus points could be collected for hitting them with a well thrown newspaper.

At the end of the day's delivery you would be shown a report on your progress:

For every paper wrongly delivered the house would cancel its order and if too many of the houses un-subscribed then you get your marching orders and it was game over. It was possible to claw subscribers back by delivering all papers on a round though.

The game did get more difficult as each days of the week went by. If you made it through the week then the game was completed - which was no mean feat.

This retro game had been highly anticipated years prior on 8-bit machines due to the popularity of the arcade version. The main drawback then and still was the lack of the 'handlebar' controls (which did detract from the game slightly).

One thing that the Amiga accomplished was matching the arcade graphics perfectly- Paperboy on the ZX Spectrum had been monochromatic. The game was playable and fun, and was a very good rendition of the original from Atari. The scrolling on the Amiga was nice and smooth too - as was to be expected. The name 'Paperboy' ensured that it was a reasonable hit.

This game is really a product of it's era - as in the mid 1980's. By 1989 more complex games had been and were being developed. Paperboy still has a degree of playability - and is fun for a little while.

We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download Paperboy. Alternatively you could try and play it online.

Please see our other Amiga retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys.

GENRE: Arcade game
RELEASE DATE: Autumn of 1989
RELEASED BY: Elite Software
DEVELOPER(S): Martin W. Ward and Richard Frankish
PRICE: £19.99 - UK

Bri does the rounds in Paperboy - Amiga Games:

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Arcade Games, Classic Games and Amiga Games

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