Give me a paper boy who's real flesh and blood. The sort of hunk who roars off on his BMX bike, breaking windows and swerving into the path of an on-coming car, just to avoid the old granny with her walking frame. That's the one for me.
From out of the arcades and into your heart comes the Hells Angel of the morning round. This paper boy delivers daily.
This is the game with the fast-pedalling peril, tossing off The Times and Telegraph in an attempt to nix the news speed record. And there's points in them than periodicals for pranging the postbox of a subscriber or opening the windows of an unbeliever with a well-aimed edition. Ker-ashh! Let the Daily Sun shine in! The road to becoming Rupert Murdoch is a rocky one, and includes every obstacle under The... err... Mirrorm from rolling wheels to rogue C5's. And if you don't deliver enough news it's bad news for you as the subscribers start to subside and down goes your income.
But it's not all work for the BMX bandit, and at the end of a hard day's slog he may have time left for the dreaded assault course, running up ramps and leaping streams to ram the targets with the readables, Robin Hood-style. This is another opportunity to wheel up those points, then celebrate with a wheelie.
In gameplay terms, Paperboy calls for quick reactions and a good memory, as you balance pedal power with your ability to make that speedy swerve in the nick of time. Will you stick to the path or gamble on a trip to the gutter? Perhaps a path across somebody's prize petunias would solve the problem, but please watch out for the railings or you'll go Guardian over Express.
Inevitably, more and more obstacles appear as the week goes by, and part of the fun is finding out what lies in wait next time you cycle down those mean streets of suburbia. By making the main display mainly mono, Elite has avoided graphic problems, and the diagonal scroll is just dippy, giving you enough warning to manoeuvre your way past the hazards. The sprites are delightfully detailed for their size, too.
All in all, Elite does it again. It's another classic conversion, true to the original. In terms of playability, Paperboy really delivers.
Another huge Elite game of a few years back, although in this case I could never really see what all the fuss was about. As the paperboy you cycle through your neighbourhood (which conveniently takes the form of a very straight road, with houses on only one side) and deliver your papers by bunging them at the letterboxes (conveniently labelled 'SUN' - is that the paper they all take?). Get the paper in and you get 250 points - fail and the household will cancel its subscription. You need to avoid the sort of hazards that cassette inlay notes always describe as 'hilarious' - to whit, tramps, geezers on motorbikes, hydrants, cars, and anything else sprite shaped. There are also some hamper-shaped things to be picked up for extra points, and you can have fun by breaking windows of people who aren't your customers. Quite a wheeze, and indeed this game has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide on various formats. Nowadays, though, it does look a bit dated - after all, it's so old that on initial release there was even an Electron version. Quite neatly put together, but overrated.
All information in this page is provided by ZXSR instead of ZXDB