Gaming Memories – Klax.

Klax (PlayStation 2, 2003)

After writing about the great Paperboy on here last time which was part of the first volume of the PlayStation 2’s archive games compilation Midway Arcade Treasures, I thought that I would write about another of my favourite games featured on that collection. This time it’s the puzzler Klax which was originally released in 1989. vlcsnap-01636

I really enjoy games in the puzzle genre, so discovering the gameplay of Klax was a great moment. Some squares that are different colours slide down a conveyor belt and you have to collect them and slot them into place on a 5×5 grid, scoring points for connecting three squares of the same colour horizontally, vertically, or diagonally and making them disappear. You also start on the first level and must complete a task such as making so many klaxs or scoring so many points before you can progress to the next one. vlcsnap-01638

As the squares slide along the conveyor belt they all make different noises and you have to catch them in time, because if too many of them begin to drop off the edge or the playing area becomes full with squares it’s game over. Also, as the levels progress the squares are in increasingly different colours and begin to slide along the conveyor belt quicker so you have to be very alert. A multicoloured square also appears which can be used as any colour which can come in useful. vlcsnap-01637

There were some nice sound effects too, I do like the different noises from when you get a klax, and every time you complete a level you get a bonus for how many of the 25 squares on the 5×5 grid we still unused. You also got some applause too which was nice. There were also bonuses for making bigger klaxs of four or five of the same colour. Overall there were 100 levels in the game (or “waves” as they called) which were increasingly challenging and although I never progressed that far I always enjoyed having a go. vlcsnap-01635

When you begin to play Klax a message appears on the screen that rather boldly claims “it is the nineties and there is time for… Klax“. Again Klax was released on several platforms in the 90s including the Commodore 64 and Super Nintendo and although it didn’t make as big an impact as the mighty Tetris which was released around the same time it still seemed to be well received by the reviewers of the time. vlcsnap-01639

I have a few other PlayStation 2 games that consisted of compilations of classic games from the 1980s and 1990s including Atari Anthology and Midway Arcade Treasures 2 so next time I’ll have a look at some more of the classic games that I enjoyed discovering and playing as a part of those.

Gaming Memories – Paperboy.

Paperboy (PlayStation 2, 2003)

I haven’t had the chance to play too many computer games that were released in the 1980s, so when the first volume of Midway Arcade Treasures was released on the PlayStation 2 in 2003, I decided to buy it as it featured versions of 24 classic games. Among my favourites of the selection were Root Beer Tapper and Klax, and the one that I must have played the most was Paperboy which was originally developed in 1984.

When the game begins you get the job as a paperboy delivering copies of The Daily Sun on your bicycle, which seems to be such an honour that you even make the front page. There are three different modes of difficulty to choose from and the basic idea is to deliver newspapers to subscribers on a suburban street whilst avoiding various obstacles. vlcsnap-01630

You start on the Monday and you have to get to the end of the week still in your job. If you don’t deliver a newspaper to the right house they will unsubscribe, however if you deliver to every house you have to you will gain a subscriber. If you run out of subscribers before the end of the week though it’s game over and you get the sack. vlcsnap-01634

As the days progress though more and more obstacles block your way, featuring everything from car tyres rolling around in the middle of the street, to dogs running out in front of you, collide with them and you’ll lose a life. You also score points for accurate delivery of newspapers and breaking objects at unsubscribed houses. If you reach the end of the street you can also take part in an obstacle course against the clock. There were even a few clips of speech for when the paperboy has a mishap which was innovative at the time. vlcsnap-01632

Paperboy was a great game to play and it was very popular in the 1980s, there was even a round on the BBC1 game show First Class where contestants could play a game. About a couple of years ago Paperboy earned a front cover feature in Retro Gamer magazine to celebrate 30 years since its release. vlcsnap-01633

This was the first time that I had bought that magazine and it really was interesting reading about the history and development of the game, and as well as the PlayStation 2, Paperboy was released on a wide variety of formats throughout the years also including the Commodore 64 and the Nintendo Game Boy, and every version had small variations in graphics and gameplay, and a sequel was also released in the early-90s. 

Although it seems that the critical response was mixed to the various versions of Paperboy that were released on all the different formats, all these years later when I want to play Midway Arcade Treasures, Paperboy is still almost always the first game that I select to play. It really is a game that always delivers, ha-ha.