#82 Paperboy

Posted: 11th November 2015 by Jeroen in Games
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465th played so far


Genre: Action
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1984
Developer: Atari
Publisher: Atari

A bit of a step down, isn’t it? After the complex and intricate Dwarf Fortress, building a mine and getting a city going, we now go slightly simpler… we’re delivering papers.

Paperboy is an older game that just seems to permeate gaming history (at least in my mind). It was familiar to me from its NES port, but was really one of those games that was ported to everything out there at the time.

Our Thoughts

There aren’t really many games about people doing their mundane jobs. Mostly, it’s management simulations – running a movie studio or growing a city. There’s plenty of games about soldiers or astronauts. Mundane jobs, however, seldomly feature, with a game like Tapper being an example.

Being a paperboy? Perhaps in a quick game jam game, but I can’t see anyone else running with it. It clearly happened 30 years ago though, and the game still plays as well.

While the basic concept – throw papers at the houses where you’re meant to deliver them – is simple, the other parts add a lot to the game. Annoying house owners without a subscription by breaking their windows is fun enough, although it can backfire if you do it to the subscribers, and having to manage the numbers of papers you have adds to the challenge, but most of the game comes down to avoidance – following the route without being run over by a car, stumbling over something or falling down. There’s loads of obstacles to make it annoying, something seeming to be placed unfairly, but there’s always a way around.

Final Thoughts

It’s not the most complicated game, but Paperboy always has so much going on while playing that that never really gets a problem. There’s a large enough variety in challenges and obstacles that the street always feels slightly different. Thoroughly enjoyable as the simple game it is.