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).
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.