Payback (video game)

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Payback Coverart.png
Developer(s) Apex Designs
Publisher(s) Apex Designs (Amiga)
DSI Games/Zoo Digital (GBA)
Freeverse (Mac)
Platform(s) Amiga, WarpOS, Game Boy Advance, Macintosh, GP2X, iOS, Android
Release Amiga
  • EU: February 15, 2001
  • WW: January 2003
Game Boy Advance
  • WW: November 19, 2004
  • WW: January 28, 2009
  • WW: January 28, 2010
Genre(s) Action, Grand Theft Auto clone[1]

Payback is a video game by Apex Designs.


It was originally one fan's project to make an Amiga clone of Grand Theft Auto. In the author's own words, "every effort has been made to ensure that Payback beats GTA in every way."

The game was eventually expanded into a commercial release, and in 2002 Apex Designs announced plans to bring it to Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, and the Game Boy Advance (GBA). The Mac version was speedily released, but there is still no word on the Windows version's released date. A version for the GP2X handheld has since been released.

Despite the game being a clone of GTA, even copying car names such as the "Mundaneo", Rockstar has made no attempt to stop Apex Designs from publishing this game, or warn them about infringing on their copyrighted materials.

The GBA version was also finished, but Apex Designs couldn't initially find a publisher. After numerous failed attempts to get it published, it was not until late 2004 that DSI Games finally picked up the game.

An iOS version of Payback was announced on December 29, 2008 and released on January 28, 2009. It contains all the features of the GP2X version. The developers announced that it was going to be released on January 15; however due to a bug, it was pushed back to January 28. A behind-the-scenes report is listed on their website.

A sequel to Payback, Payback 2 which was released 4 October 2012 for iOS.


The game is similar in gameplay to the original GTA, with new camera angles and more weapons being obvious differences. The player can use shotguns grenades, as well as weapons such as remote controlled cars carrying explosives.

The game also supports four-player multiplayer deathmatch.

The game features a full 3D game engine with area-of-effect explosions and complex car handling. Skid marks can be seen clearly, and vehicles smoke when heavily damaged. The intro is converted from an AVI movie, and is one of the most complicated examples of GBA movie footage outside of the Game Boy Advance Video releases. The game is considered a benchmark of the GBA's capabilities, and few games before it had featured such a complex 3D engine.

It features eleven cities in the Game Boy Advance version.

Additional content[edit]

The Amiga version allowed fans to make their own deathmatch maps (see the link below). These cannot be added into the GBA version, but a slightly modified 'Isla Nublar' map is featured as an unlockable bonus.


  1. ^ Fahey, M. (2012) The Original Grand Theft Auto iPhone Clone Returns with Payback 2. Kotaku. 10 Apr. Retrieved 11 Oct, 2014

External links[edit]