“5 am?!… Already?!”
Yes indeed, it’s an early rise to deliver the daily paper’s to the suburban masses.
Paperboy, from Atari, throws you onto the saddle of a bike to spread the word of the world via the daily press.
Atari, known for their delicious array of arcade cabs, again delivered a superb offering with the controls being mounted in the form of handlebars.
Pedaling frantically, your job is no small task. The house, beginning in a low proximity, all await their daily newspaper and the responsibility for delivering to the right customers along your path rests on your shoulders.
Many hazards await your dextrous bike skills in a myriad of ways. Pot holes, drain covers, on coming road traffic and yapping neighbourhood dogs to name but a few.
Throwing the contents of your heavy bag at front doors and mail boxes, the onus is indeed on accuracy if a high score is to be obtained because one wrong hurl can land you in all kinds of trouble, breaking windows can upset the calmness of any house owner and can leave the subscribers list short for the next day as cancellations become a factor in your round.
upon completion of the route a bonus stage is entered in the form of an off-road B.M.X. track, with jumps and obstacles to navigate along the way. Again hurling papers at set targets along the track to gain bonus points in the alloted time adds to the pressure and excitement of the game, propelling you to the next days delivery round.
Again the alarm clock sounds, waking you to a new day and a new list of clients, depending on your efforts from previous endeavours.
Of course it’s always good to put the odd window through of old complaining customers but be sure to pedal fast as capture can leave you without your wheels and indeed a severe ticking off with the loss of a life.
Paperboy was indeed a great experience from Atari. It had the hallmark of what a classic arcade game was. Simple gameplay, originality and offered an excellent flow and a unique dynamic, earning a place in history of one the classics.
Review by Rob Joy.