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iPhone  header logo

Paperboy: Special Delivery


For: iPhone   Also on: Mobile

Old news

Product: Paperboy: Special Delivery | Developer: Glu Mobile | Publisher: In-house | Format: iPhone | Genre: Arcade, Retro | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.0
 
Paperboy: Special Delivery iPhone, thumbnail 1
What have Phil Collins and Paperboy got in common?

Both were huge in the ‘80s and no one today can quite figure out why.

The first outing on iPhone - the game, not Phil Collins - emphasised that fact, combining the original’s awkward isometric gameplay with awkward controls, and Glu’s attempt to lacquer the rose-tinted glasses through which many view the series is another miss.

Paper rout

While keen to point out that this Paperboy: Special Delivery is easier than the original (which has now disappeared from the App Store), it fails to make the experience any more fun.

The gameplay remains identical. You move your mafia hoodlum-in-training up a typical American suburban street, tossing papers onto customers’ doorsteps and damaging the property of their non-subscribing neighbours.

You’re offered a choice of control options, although none ever feels comfortable. For the record, the virtual D-pad option is probably best, with the tilt-to-steer and the default touch and tilt hybrid vying for distant second.

Tomorrow’s chip paper

Besides Game Center integration, the main addition here is a more accessible Story mode with an assortment of timed challenges and delivery quotas tied to the least consequential of plots. Even the biggest of Paperboy apologists would hardly call the protagonist likeable, so there’s little incentive to play through here other than the ability enhancements you can unlock.

There remains a Classic mode, too, playable on three levels of difficulty. This is still the best way to experience Paperboy, if you really are a dedicated retro-head.

The most inexplicable flaw, though, is the game’s technical shortcomings. The graphics are extremely basic and yet the game paused and stuttered repeatedly on my second-generation iPod touch.

All of this makes it impossible to recommend Paperboy: Special Delivery any more than Vivid Games’s effort in February. It’s the same dated, clunky arcade throwback that only those strongly swayed by nostalgia should consider.
 
Paperboy: Special Delivery
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 9 November 2010
Paperboy: Special Delivery boasts a new Story mode and Game Center integration, but it remains stuck in the dark ages with its clunky gameplay and inadequate controls
 
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