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Serving the Daily Scoop

Published: November 15th, 2021

Author: Caitlynn Joann


Paperboy was designed by John Salwitz, Dave Ralston, Russel Dawe, and Carl Bedard. The player is the protagonist in this game, who delivers a fictional newspaper, The Daily Sun, to subscribers by bicycle. This could be played off of the first newspaper boy, Barney Flaherty, who began delivering The New York Sun in September of 1833. Nevertheless. Paperboy was developed and published by Atari Games and Midway Games to be released in 1985.

The Paperboy is viewed through an oblique projection, which if you’re not used to can be difficult to acclimate to. While riding down the sidewalk, the paperboy attempts to deliver newspapers to subscribers and strives to vandalize the nonsubscriber's house with the papers. The subscriber's houses are colorful while the nonsubscriber's houses are dark and dreary. Subscribers are lost by missing a delivery or damaging their property. Nonsubscribers' houses can be damaged by tossing newspapers at their windows. The bicycle is controlled with a 4-way joystick, pushing it forward to accelerate and downward to break. By moving it left to right you can control the steering as well.

There are three different levels, Easy Street, Middle Road, and Hard Way. Players score points when papers are delivered successfully, at their doorstep or inside a mailbox, as well as by damaging the houses of non-subscribers. A perfect delivery day where all subscribers receive their papers correctly will reward you with double points for that day and an extra subscriber is added. After each stage, there are training courses where you can earn bonus points. Every paper delivered to a mailbox receives 250 points and the doorstep receives 100 points. Other ways to gain points are breaking plants and running over flowers.

While you can only hold 10 papers at a time, paper refills are given to you throughout the game on the sidewalk, but you must “run them over” to pick them up. You must avoid various obstacles along the way, such as vehicles, people, fire hydrants, storm drains, kids with radio-controlled toys, and even rather bizarre foes such as a tornado, oversized house cats, and even the Grim Reaper himself. Luckily, the breakdancer and the men who fight in the street can be smacked with a newspaper for extra points. By running into any of the obstacles with the bike, you lose of life. If the player loses all of their lives or runs out of subscribers, the game ends.


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