Paperboy (PlayStation 2, 2003)
I haven’t had the chance to play too many computer games that were released in the 1980s, so when the first volume of Midway Arcade Treasures was released on the PlayStation 2 in 2003, I decided to buy it as it featured versions of 24 classic games. Among my favourites of the selection were Root Beer Tapper and Klax, and the one that I must have played the most was Paperboy which was originally developed in 1984.
When the game begins you get the job as a paperboy delivering copies of The Daily Sun on your bicycle, which seems to be such an honour that you even make the front page. There are three different modes of difficulty to choose from and the basic idea is to deliver newspapers to subscribers on a suburban street whilst avoiding various obstacles.
You start on the Monday and you have to get to the end of the week still in your job. If you don’t deliver a newspaper to the right house they will unsubscribe, however if you deliver to every house you have to you will gain a subscriber. If you run out of subscribers before the end of the week though it’s game over and you get the sack.
As the days progress though more and more obstacles block your way, featuring everything from car tyres rolling around in the middle of the street, to dogs running out in front of you, collide with them and you’ll lose a life. You also score points for accurate delivery of newspapers and breaking objects at unsubscribed houses. If you reach the end of the street you can also take part in an obstacle course against the clock. There were even a few clips of speech for when the paperboy has a mishap which was innovative at the time.
Paperboy was a great game to play and it was very popular in the 1980s, there was even a round on the BBC1 game show First Class where contestants could play a game. About a couple of years ago Paperboy earned a front cover feature in Retro Gamer magazine to celebrate 30 years since its release.
This was the first time that I had bought that magazine and it really was interesting reading about the history and development of the game, and as well as the PlayStation 2, Paperboy was released on a wide variety of formats throughout the years also including the Commodore 64 and the Nintendo Game Boy, and every version had small variations in graphics and gameplay, and a sequel was also released in the early-90s.
Although it seems that the critical response was mixed to the various versions of Paperboy that were released on all the different formats, all these years later when I want to play Midway Arcade Treasures, Paperboy is still almost always the first game that I select to play. It really is a game that always delivers, ha-ha.