Hyperspace Delivery Boy! is a very fun action/adventure/puzzle concoction from Tom Hall, John Romero and Monkeystone, the company the two id Software legends founded after leaving Ion Storm in 2001. The first PC game from Monkeystone (who focuses on developing games for mobile devices including PDAs and cell phones), Hyperspace Delivery Boy! is a wonderful game that is strongly reminiscent of Commander Keen, John Romero’s early hit at id Software. Description of the plot at the official site: “You are Guy Carrington, fresh on the job as a courier for the Hyperspace Delivery Service. Your job: get mail and packages to those that need them, no matter where in space they are! You may face insane robots, dangerous environments, or even the dreaded Sleeping Behemoths on your quest to deliver the universe’s most important parcels! Explore bizarre worlds and defend yourself against alien creatures as you solve the devious puzzles of… Hyperspace Delivery Boy!”
HDB is a good mix of action, adventure, and puzzle. You can choose either Puzzle Mode or Action Mode – they are essentially the same except there are more baddies in Action Mode, but the game is clearly designed to be more of a puzzle game than an action fest. The puzzles, similar to Zelda games, are of a physical nature – typically requiring you to push crates, move around electro-shock fields, and so on.
Graphics and animations, as you would expect from the likes of John Romero and Tom Hall, are excellent throughout. As HDB was designed primarily for the Pocket PC platform, the characters are naturally small, and the user interface is very easy to learn and use. As with Commander Keen and similar Romero/Hall classics, there is plenty of secret areas to discover, hidden gems and other items to find, and even Monkeystone - a special item that will reveal new options on the main menu. Many missions you receive are optional, and there are always new packages to deliver and more exotic locales to deliver them to. With 30 levels, HPB is a great value for money and a highly replayable game.
I found HDB to be a charming, addictive, and a pleasant divergence from Tom Hall's recent 3D-graphics-extravaganza like Anachronox back to the olden days where his games were simpler and rely more on sheer playability than whiz-bang graphics to glue us to the screen. The only complaint I have is that sometimes it takes forever to journey back to Dr. P's office to get new missions once the current one is finished, even with "run" mode toggled on. If you miss Commander Keen or Dangerous Dave and the good old days of id Software, Hyperspace Delivery Boy! brings back that past into the present, with all the humor, gameplay, and addictiveness intact. Two thumbs up, way up!Reviewed by: Underdogs