A long time ago, before the Internet, people used to read their news on papers that were delivered to their front doorstep. It’s a novel concept for today’s youth, but when it was originally released in 1984 Paperboy was one of those real-world game concepts that was more intriguing than a lot of fantasy-based games. Nowadays, Paperboy is about as easy to relate to as Crosak’s caveman protagonist.
In Paperboy, you have to deliver papers for seven days straight, hitting a button to throw your newspapers onto a front step or directly into the mailbox. At the same time, you have to avoid hitting the numerous obstacles that pop up in front of your bike, like cars and dogs. You also can earn bonus points for breaking the windows of non-subscribers, or riding over their gardens. It’s an enjoyable concept and we’re glad that it hasn’t been changed.
The crowd loves you!
This remake maintains the old enjoyable gameplay but ditches the graphics, turning Paperboy and all his odd suburban neighbors into low-quality 3D models. There’s a lot of action in just one stretch of Paperboy’s route: killer lawnmowers, exploding cherry bombs, burglars, and obnoxious drunks just to name a few. However, none of them look particularly attractive.
In addition to a classic view, which places the action at a 3/4 angle that should be familiar to anyone who has played the original, there is also a 3D view that takes you slightly behind the paperboy. This view makes it very difficult to judge your throws, and it doesn’t benefit the gameplay at all. A much better addition to this remake is the casual mode, which gives you more chances to pick up extra lives, points, and collectible baseball cards.
Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays!
Like a plastic-wrapped newspaper that landed in a puddle, we found this new Paperboy experience to be a mixed bag. We appreciate the new trophies, which reward you for destroying windows or beating any of the very challenging gameplay modes. However, we would have also liked to watch our progress towards certain goals, especially the ones that require 100 or 250 smaller steps (like busting windows, running over flowers, or delivering papers correctly). Another problem is that the two bonus modes, Time Trial and Challenge, are locked until you earn enough trophies, meaning you’ll have to master an arcade game that is not at all forgiving to part-time paperboys.
We think the 3D graphics are not worth paying much for, but the gameplay is still very solid and that’s really what counts. An update is needed to adjust the trophies and high level of difficulty, so it’s not all good news. If it’s available for a cheap price, Paperboy is a noteworthy but archaic throwback, just like the newspaper industry.