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ZX Spectrum 48K

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Jonathan Nash
Chris Bourne

Never trust anyone with no chin, as the Wise Woman of Worcester used to say, before she was arrested on a charge of being wise without a licence. By her words then, Postman Pat is not a man to be trusted. His face goes straight down into his shirt without a break. And he's always grinning. Just what does he know? Was he in the Texas Book Despository back in 1963? Does he know who really wrote Count Duckula 2? Or what?

Postman Pat
The game that started it all, PP is, it has to be said, a bad influence on future drivers. You can send Pat's wobbly red van along country lanes backwards at high speed without any penalty (on the easy level at least - if you play on the hard level, any scrape whatsoever reduces your vehicle to a heap of fine dust). In fact, it's suspiciously like the main game from Fireman Sam - drive around taking parcels from one place to another. (Of cours, Sam didn't deliver parcels, but you get the idea.) You only have one hour to make all the deliveries, but the Speccy has an odd idea of what constitutes a minute, so there's no pressure to speak of. All in all, Pat is a markedly relaxed game - you could nod off in between turnings as the van putters along.

Actually working out where to chuck the parcels once you've got 'em is good fun, but it's nowhere near as good as Fireman Sam. The little animated bits when you go into a house or drink some tea are smart though. (Hey! Maybe all that tea is why Pat moves so quickly and is such a dangerous driver?) (Hold fast, sirrah! How dare you insinuate the star of one of Britain's most popular children's lunchtime programmes is a caffeine addict? Ed)

Postman Pat 2
Subtitled 'Pat's Revenge' and running with the tag-line 'They left him for dead... but they didn't finish the job.' Pat 2 took over $50 million in the United States. (Stop that. Stop that right now. Ed) Okay, okay. Pat 2 is actually Tir Na Nog with headed stationery. You have to dash a suspiciously hyperactive Pat around a side-on view of the town, delivering letters and helpfully finding lost objects (such as the vicar's torch, or the handyman's spanner... hang on, vicar's torch? Well, whatever). Now and again, a hen will steal one of your letters, so you'll have to chase after the impertinent fowl in a comical manner. Oh, and there's a maniac rattling around in a dumper truck (I think it's meant to be a van. Ed) who, given half a chance, will give Pat a lift to exactly where he doesn't want to go. The graphics are a cut above the other two games, and it's really quite smart for a bit. Then you twig that all you're really doing is walking round a huge featureless maze (just like Tir Na Nog in fact) and boredom crashes down like the crap plane with hundreds of wings in that old newsreel film. And unlike Tir Na Nog, the main animated character isn't even synchronised to the beats of Ray Parker Jr's Ghostbusters. Dull; terribly, terribly dull.

Postman Pat 3-To The Rescue
Dan the Man has broken his leg. Probably fallen behind on those poll tax payments, or something. Anyway, he asks Pat to deliver a load of telephone directories, and Pat, like the sweetie he is, agrees. (Spook fact: the telephone directories were originally copies of the Yellow Pages, until the Yellow Pages people got in touch and threatened to sue.) Bundling Jess into the van and slinging the books in the back, Pat roars off into town, pausing only to check his rear-view mirror and signal his intention to pull out in plenty of time.

Pat 3 is Paperboy, but without the 3D bits, and on a road rather than the pavement. So the good-natured eccentricity of the original obstacles goes right out the window to be replaced with a bunch of imbeciles who don't know which side of the road to drive on. The other prob is, of course, Paperboy is a crap game - chug along the scrolling street, throw your books at the houses with a numbered doormat, and don't die of tedium on the way. In addition, Pat 3 suffers from horrible graphics and the speed of a dazed brick. Overall, it's marginally more enjoyable than trying to cut down the largest tree in the forest with a herring. (Hello! We're a firm of lawyers representing Python Productions, and you're in an enormous amount of trouble! Several suited people with shark-y grins)

So there you have it. The original PP is the best of the three, and PP 3 is the worst. PP 2 is neither the worst nor the best, but something in between. (Hello! We're a firm of lawyers representing Paddy Ashdown Enterprises, and you're in an enormous amount of trouble! Several other suited people with shark-y grins) To be honest, I'd recommend you give the compilation a miss and pick up Postman Pat for the even more bargainous sum of £3.99, then donate the difference to the J Nash Legal Aid Fund, c/o an unsavoury police cell somewhere in the west of England.


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Theodore was a happy loony. Every day, on his way to Dr Gilbertson's rubber hose therapy sessions, he would stop off at the local marina and catch a lovely new fish.

How on earth did you manage to lose a bike bell? I mean, it's strapped to the front of your bike. You'd be bound to notice it fell off. It would squeak when you ran over it. All right, all right, no need to blubber.

Well, it's a scene of total devastation here, Bernard. The building's on fire and the blaze is threatening to spread. Of the arsonist, the so-called 'Caffeine-Crazy Pat', there's no sign. Here, why are you edging away like that?

Pat (on the left) is chucking a book out of the window. A sort of boxy lorry (on the right) is driving on the wrong side of the road. And this, my friends, is about as exciting as it gets.