Paperboy 2 logo

It's a little-known fact that most of society's problems today stem from the fact that nearly everyone was made to do a paper round when they were younger. You see, the resentment everyone felt at having to do the equivalent of five years' hard labour for something like 20p every week still festers inside us all, causing us to be the irrational stress-laden go-getters we are today.

But, hey, that's my problem. Why do Mindscape think that anyone in their right mind is going to buy a game about someone who delivers papers? That's just what Paperboy 2 is about.

Always the sun
Picture a street, preferably in isometric 3D. Along that street are a number of subscribers' houses, the people who want the paper delivered every day. Bombing along the street is the paperboy - you - dishing out papers, as is his wont. The basic idea is to wang the papers into the postboxes of the subscribers, while trying to break the windows of the houses that haven't seen the light of the Daily Sun.

Of course, there are the usual hazards you might find on any urban street: other cyclists, cars, dogs, people with lawnmowers, blokes throwing tyres about, roasting pigs, ghosts, and cannons. There are two ways to deal with these. The first is to avoid them. The second is not to avoid them and to end up in a crumpled heap on the floor. Actually, there's a third way that works with most obstacles, which is to throw a paper at them. This seems to stop them dead in their tracks. (The Daily Sun is obviously print on lead-lined paper).

Telegraph road
This rigmarole goes on until you either lose all your lives (due to the pigs and so on) or deprive enough subscribers of their rag. After each street is successfully negotiated there's a stunt track for you to leap about on and pick up some bonus points in, points scoring being, after surviving to another level, the aim.

Now of course it would be scandalous if Paperboy 2 turned out to be little more than a repeat of the first game, a not-very-taxing dodge'n'weave exercise. It is, though. If that weren't enough, it's the worst-programmed dodge'n'weave game you've ever seen.

Mirror in the bathroom
The graphics chug by and tend to convulse down the screen rather than scroll; this isn't helped by the constant disk access while the game loads in a new bit of scenery, so that, just before a big event like a jump, the entire game stops dead for half a second. Very realistic. The music is the most godawful racket since Throbbing Gristle's heyday, although the samples aren't bad. But worst of all, the gameplay has no appeal whatsoever - it's not challenging, it's not fun, it's not even laughable, it's just dire.

Paperboy 2 is a dismal failure on all counts. You'd have more fun doing the real thing rather than play this. Almost.


If you're, how shall we put it more, a more mature gamesplayer, you might just recall the original Paperboy. As far as we know it never appeared on the Amiga, but surfaced on the 8-bits around 1986, as a conversion from the coin-op. The plot revolved around... well... a paperboy, really, and the trials and tribulations he faced on his daily round. The idea was to throw papers at houses that subscribed, avoid the many obstacles and break the windows of the houses that didn't take the paper. Might sound a tad familiar if you've read this review.
You'd be hard pushed to find anyone who really enjoyed Paperboy, let alone anyone who'd call it a classic. It just wasn't one of those games that had any character - or interest - or flair. Quite why Mindscape have decided to put out a virtually identical sequel remains one of those bizarre marketing decisions only software houses can justify.

Ja, mir san mi'm Radl da!

Paperboy 2 logo

Wer erinnert sich noch an "Paperboy", Ataris Arcade-Oldie mit dem BMX-Lenker? Alle, keiner? Na, dann vielleicht an Elites famose Amigaversion? Was, auch Fehlanzeige? Umso besser, dann hat Euch Mindscapes Fahrrad-Fortsetzung wenigstens Neues zu bieten...

Denn generell halten sich die Abweichungen zum Vorgänger in Grenzen: Damals wie heute radelt man als Zeitungsjunge durch belebte Vorstadtstraßen und wirft seine Ware in die Briefkästen der Kunden bzw. Ins Fensterglas der Abo-Muffel (da die Leute trotzdem abonnieren, werden wir die Methode wohl auch mal ausprobieren).

Neu ist, daß die Route nun nicht mehr diagonal von rechts nach links, sondern in verschiedene Richtungen scrollt; folgerichtig darf man seine Blättersammlungen jetzt beidseitig abfeuern.

Dutzende von Straßen wollen beliefert werden, überall ist der Teufel los! So kann man etwa Mülltonnen umnieten oder ausgebockte Autos auf den drunterliegenden Besitzer krachen lassen, während man selbst tollwütigen Rasenmähern und bissigen Hunden ausweicht.

Zwischenrein müssen Zeitungsstapel aufgeklaubt werden, ehe der Papiervorrat zur Neige geht. Nach getaner Arbeit folgt jeweils ein Bonusparcours, wo man das Punktekonto durch gekonnte Zielwürfe gefahrlos aufbessern darf. Hier kann man im Zwei-Spieler-Modus nun auch gemeinsam radeln, während die Zeitungen sonst nacheinanderzugestellt werden.

Eine bunte Grafik voller Gags und makelloses Scrolling in allen vier Himmelsrichtungen machen den stressigen Ritt am Drahtesel erneut zum vergnügen; auch die schwungvolle Musik samt knackiger Effekte weiß zu gefallen. Paperboy 2 mag altgedienten Pedalisten zwar wenig Neuheiten bieten, eine Gaudi ist es allemal! (rl)

Paperboy 2 logo

I used to have a paper round, although that piece of information has about as much relevance to this review as does the fact that the volume of the world is equal to 7 x 10 to the power of 21 sugar cubes. (Interesting, eh?)

More relevant are the changes made over the original game - a conversion that itself seemed shallow, uneventful and (unless you were prepared to strategically sellotape important parts of your BMX to your Amiga) nowhere near as novel as the arcade game where you used actual handlebars to control the action.

"He's back - with an all-new route" swanks the box. Wahey, eh? This all-new route ends up as basically the same old one, but with some new kinds of houses which appear on both sides of the road (but not at once), a few more obstacles (such as gargoyles, monsters in the drains) (very much like our street - Ed), a couple of new methods of scoring breakage bonuses (try watering the sun bather, trapping motorists under their cars or killing dogs), a bonus (survive as long as possible) level, jumps, a limit on speed and the choice of playing as a paper boy or papergirl (big deal).

Absolutely every aspect of the programming, from the graphics to the quantity of disk accessing, is terminally flawed, however (and from Mindscape of all people), resulting in the biggest pile of an unprintable qualifier followed by an unprintable adjective ever.

Don't even touch it with that really long stick which you tied onto the end of an unusually long bargepole especially for the occasion.