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Overview

Paperboy Arcade
Paperboy Arcade

Paperboy was released to arcades in 1985 by Atari Games. It featured a custom bicycle handle controller that the player would use to accelerate, brake, and turn the titular Paperboy's bicycle on screen. A button would cause him to throw his paper to the left, to either deliver the paper perfectly in a mailbox or doorstep, or for more destructive purposes.

There are three different courses on which the player can deliver papers: Easy Street, Middle Road, and Hard Way. The player scores points for each paper successfully delivered to a subscriber, but also for breaking the windows or other household features of non-subscribers. Each run through the course takes a single day, with an entire game consisting of delivering Monday through Sunday. At the end of each day any subscribers that had a paper successfully delivered would give a bonus. Any subscribers missed on that day would unsubscribe for the following day. If all papers are delivered perfectly to each house the player would receive double points for each subscriber, and, unless at the max, get a formerly lost subscriber back.

Each day would get progressively harder, with even Easy Street being quite challenging by Thursday or Friday. The difficulty was ramped up by adding more obstacles, making the doorsteps and mailboxes harder to get at, and increasing the speed of cross traffic on the one intersection. Each run through a particular day is the same, however, so eventually the player can memorize the various patterns.

At the end of the street is the "Training Course", which is an obstacle course with targets, jumps, and static obstacles suitable for running up more points. At the end is a grandstand filled with cheering fans.

Enemies

Danger Lurks
Danger Lurks

Static obstacles, such as low brick walls, mailboxes, bushes, garbage cans, push-mowers, fences, and the houses themselves cause the paperboy to immediately fall off his bicycle, losing a life. The player is forced to move forward at all times, and can only turn so quickly left or right, so it is easy to get in situations where the player just cannot move to the side quickly enough to avoid them.

Mobile obstacles, such as dogs, cars, drunks, men fighting, uni-cyclists, skeletons, RC cars, those evil, evil skateboarding kids, and more are a constant threat, popping up without much warning, crashing into you or forcing you into something else.

Incarnations

There have been many console and handheld versions of Paperboy, from the Commodore 64 and TRS-80 all the way to Xbox Live Arcade.

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