I was excited to hear about Meerkat Gaming bringing the classic from the 80', Paperboy (which was originally developed by Atari), back to life in the form of Special Delivery to HTC Vive and Oculus Touch. This great news was posted by Matt Rodwell, co-founder, and development lead at Meerkat Gaming. There is even a gameplay video posted on Meerkat Gaming YouTube channel (check it out below in the video section).
This game really brings some sweet childhood memories. I played this game on the Commodore 64. Oh boy, I remember the background music and sound effects until thisvery day. In the original Paperboy game, you needed to accurately throw the papers into people's mailboxes, while grabbing more papers on the floor and avoiding obstacles. It was a great top-down arcade game and one of the well-regarded games for the C64. Even a 25th aniversery version of Paperboy was released for iPhone and iPod Touch in 2009.
Obviously, Special Delivery (not the 360-degree short film by Aardman Animations) uses the same excellent formula that made the original so addictive and fun but now you play it in first-person, as the paperboy in virtual reality. You ride your bike and need to throw papers accurately into mailboxes. I think it's going to be even more challenging in VR, because when you look to the right or left, you have no vision of the traffic and obstacles. They also (from what I see in the trailer) added physics, so when you throw the paper, it's not like the original, it has an arc motion that is caused by the speed of the bike and gravity is applied as well.
This game is developed by the same company who developed the game Klepto: Burglary Simulator, Klepto, and Maze Roller, so they already carry an experience in creating virtual reality games. I think it is a great idea bringing back some old classic games from the dead in a virtual reality form. There is a very large audience, especially at 35+ years of age that will really appreciate this effort and are super excited to get to play some of the 80's classics in virtual reality.
I remember playing New Retro Arcade, which was a collection of many arcade machine games from the 80's and early 90's and I had so much fun playing those games all over again. Paperboy is different though because it doesn't bring back the game in its original form, but conforming it to this new popular medium, virtual reality. Obviously, I wouldn't want to play the same old game again, if I wanted to, I would either just watch a YouTube video to just refresh those great memories or download that original title and play it on an emulator on the PC. I do want something different, I would be even more excited if it would be for VR.
The game has cute vivid geometric visuals, and I think they did it this way to allow people to identify with the fact that it is a reconstruction of the old classic game.
At the title of the video on YouTube it's written Oculus Touch, so we can just assume that the game will be played with the tracked motion touch controllers, certainly for Oculus, but also for the Vive. According to the Tweet posted by Matt Rodwell, the game will be released for both Oculus Touch and HTC Vive, and I quote: "Spending today working on Special Delivery for Oculus Touch and HTC Vive". I just hope that I won't hit the wall with the controller while throwing papers.
There is not any word about an exact nor and estimated release date. The gameplay video was uploaded on November 19 and it says Early Alpha, also in Matt Rodwell's tweet it says "in development", so we can assume that the game isn't going to be released very soon, but we are definitely going to follow and news ad update the game's info page accordingly. So stay tuned for more updates and news about Special Delivery.
Image credit: Meerkat Gaming