You are Sammy Cycle, a young lad with not a lot to do in the morning before he goes to school, and so gets himself a paper round, delivering copies of the Daily Sun (the world's most throwable newspaper) to selected residents in one of three streets. At the end of each morning, he can unwind with a swift cycle through an assault course. Make it through a week, and you have finished the game.
Sounds simple enough? Then allow me to complicate things. First of all, the most important thing you have to remember when cycling along your route is not to go for bonus points, but to deliver the newspapers to the correct houses. Any house that does not get a paper automatically cancels the next day. Run out of subscribers and you do not have a round anymore. However, should you be really lovely and deliver to all the appropriate houses on your route, the next day you will be rewarded with extra subscribers.
So far we have learnt that you can lose your job through running out of customers. How else can you make the mystical message GAME OVER flash up. Well, you could always run out of lives. How do you lose a life? Simple. If you crash your bike, you lose a life. And the only way to crash your bike is to run into an obstacle. This can be anything from a wall, a manhole or a house, right through to small children playing with remote control cars and yapping little puppies who know no better than to run into the path of an oncoming cycle.
Windows and gravestones(!?!) can be smashed and customers can be satisfied. All this from just one little segment of a tree. But be warned, it takes a good judge of distance and speed to aim the newspaper perfectly, so you might need practice. So how does it stand up as a conversion? Remarkably well. Graphically, it is very close to its arcade counterpart, it is all there, right down to the VW Beetles. I am not too sure about the collision detection, however. In some places it is over generous and in others it is too stingy. The houses and extra bundles of newspapers are very easy to avoid. Indeed at times it looks like you are going through them and getting away with it. Enemy obstacles on the other hand, are very hard to get past. You have to give them a very wide berth indeed.
The sound is perfect, almost identical to the arcade, right down to the identical voices used in the identical in-game tune.
Everybody's favourite coin-op comes to the Amiga at last and has never felt as at home. Take the word Arcade, and put alongside it the word Perfect (I used to be a big fan of Sesame Street) and there you have a phrase to describe Elite's conversion. To describe simply how the game works, you are a paperboy and you have to deliver papers the American way, by throwing them at buildings very hard. So hard, you can topple giants, break windows, and level gravestones. Only a certain number of the houses on your run are subscribers, and you'd better be sure to deliver all of them. Any subscriber you miss out, instantly stops subscribing. Run out of subscribers and it's game over.
The graphics have been copied perfectly, as has the sound, right down to the voices used. Fans of the original should most definitely get hold of this version, and people who have never heard of it should join the queue, otherwise you'll really be missing something.
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