Paperboy for iPhone Falls Short of a Perfect Delivery

Paperboy Rating: ★★★☆☆

For those of you that have read my previous reviews you will know that I’ve been playing games for a long time, longer than I probably care to remember! Back in 1986 though I was gaming on a Commodore 64 home personal computer and one of the games I played with my Kingston joystick was Paperboy. In essence it’s paperboy simulator where you can get chased by cats and dogs, run over by cars and cause general mayhem without having to get up at 5 am in the morning to do it. Now it’s been ported to the iPhone/iPod touch, so how does it play?

There are two ways to port retro games to new platforms, either just stay authenticate to the original game and don’t change a thing or bring it up to date with a new look and new features. Neither is necessarily right or wrong and both have been done successfully elsewhere, however with Paperboy Elite Systems Ltd have attempted to do both.

The Classic mode is the port of the original game, in your role as the paperboy of the Daily Sun it’s your job to deliver to 10 house on a street of 20 houses. Cycling is your method of transportation and there are various controls methods to choose from including a virtual d-pad and an option to use the accelerometer for speeding up and slowing down but not for steering. Why they didn’t offer full accelerometer controls I don’t know so I found myself using the virtual d-pad option elusively.

You start on Monday and as you cycle up the street you use the action button to throw a newspaper at the houses that need a delivery while throwing them at the other houses will earn you additional points. This is no easy task however, the angle of the games means that your timing needs to be perfect and it will vary depending on the speed you are cycling at too. There are many obstacles on your round with playing children, cats, dogs and cars not to mention the static obstacles all getting in your way.

At the end of the street there is a training course where you get to earn extra points by jumping and hitting targets. You can’t lose a life on the training course as you can while out delivering papers it’s just about racking up your score. After you’ve completed your first round your success, and failures will be measured and if you have failed to deliver to any of the ten houses you needed too they will be dropped from your next days route.

So the task is pretty simple, get through a week with at least one house still needing a delivery and you will have complete the game, which all sounds pretty easy, however there are three different streets to complete and you’ve still only played the game in Classic Mode. Also available from the start of the game is Casual Mode where the game play gets the addition of Bonus Points, Baseball Cards and Extra Life tokens scattered along the rout for you to pick up. If you complete enough trophies form the Classic and Casual Modes you will then unlock two additional special levels Time Attack and Challenge. Time Attack challenges you to complete your round before the time runs out while in Challenge Mode you will need to perform a series of actions as listed.

Both of these modes are nice additions to the game and add value to the title too but at $4.99 I’m not sure that it’s enough to worth that kind of money considering the value you can get out of some $1 games and as a fan of the original the additional features don’t add anything to the title either.

You can spruce the game up from it’s 80’s style with a new 3D mode but again if something doesn’t add to the game why bother, yes it looks slightly more polished than the classic 2D but it makes the controls trickier too. They’ve also added a replay function to show you in slow motion each crash and while this is amusing the first couple of times it soon becomes tedious and being able to switch it on or off would be nice.

Overall if Elite had stuck to the original classic game and priced it more appropriately this game could be a classic all over again, however with all the bells and whistles that add little to the game other than a $4.99 price tag Paperboy will be value to those retro gamers looking to take trip down memory lane.

The Good

  • Retro and new in one package.
  • Just like it was in the 80’s

The Not So Good

  • Poor use of the accelerometer
  • Too expensive
  • Annoying replay feature

Reviewed by: Craig Willis

Paperboy iPhone Gameplay Trailer

Price: $4.99 (iTunes Store) as of 17 Jan
Reviewed Version: 0.9
Size: 34.6 MB
Seller: Elite Systems Ltd


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