Nerdy Monday 15: My Tribute to a Little Game Entitled Simply: PAPERBOY!

Oh my gosh.  Paperboys.  What can I say about them?  I was never a paperboy, but if being one were anything like the movies or T.V. shows made them out to be, it was a rite of passage into the work force.  It helped boys become men.  It was a fast track to manhood.  However you want to say it, it was a huge responsibility.

This brings me to my first point, why is it that all the way through the entire game of paperboy, you’re delivering papers during mid day?  All the paperboys I knew growing up had to wake up at 3:30am, and deliver all of their newspapers before everyone woke up.  Not while they were out mowing their grass and sending their lawnmower at you at 25 miles an hour, or letting their dogs out of their house as you rode by.  I’d bet you that if the paperboy in the popular video game wasn’t so lazy and got up before mid afternoon, he wouldn’t run into half of the inane obstacles he did!  I’d play that game, it’d be more like having a real paper route.

Paperboy was an arcade game released in 1984.  There was a movie released about it at the PEAK of paperboy’s popularity, in 1994.  So there was a good 10 year run right there.  I can’t remember if paper boy was on the regular Nintendo (NES), but I know there was a version of it released for the Sega Genesis.  There was a sequel to paperboy entitled just: PAPERBOY 2 released on the Super Nintendo (SNES).  And as far as I can tell, they are the exact game.  LET’S CHECK OUT SOME SCREEN SHOTS!

Here’s paperboy 1:

Right?

And here’s paperboy 2:

Okay?

Not much of a difference there.  I was going to dedicate an entire section of this article to comparing, and another entire section was going to be dedicated to contrasting Paperboy & Paperboy 2.  But check it out, in Paperboy 1, you ride your bike, try not to crash, refill papers as needed, dodge hazards, deliver papers to white houses, don’t deliver to red houses, and try not to break anybody’s window.  IF POSSIBLE, you try to make the paper go into the mailbox.  In Paperboy 2, you ride your bike, try not to crash, refill papers as needed, dodge hazards, deliver papers to white houses, don’t deliver to red houses, and try not to break anybody’s window.  And IF POSSIBLE, you try to make the paper go into the mailbox.  In a Venn diagram, these 2 games would be the exact same circle intersecting at every possible point.

Which begs the question:  Why was this game so popular?  Everyone had, or has played this game.  It seeped its way into our pop-culture.  Perfect example:

PAPERBOY THE MOVIE: TRAILER

Sorry, that was going to be a picture, but the file corrupted.  But the video is even better.

So seriously, why was this game so great?  Was it the simplistic concept?  Was it how easily relatable the game play was?  Was it the innocence of the subject matter?  Was it the family friendly tone?

My theory is your parents bought it for you in hopes that it’d inspire you to get your own damn job in order to be able to buy your own video games.  See the logic there?  They bought you a video game, because they were hoping that they’d never have to get you another one in real life.  They were hoping that you would get so good at it on your Sega Genesis, that it would act as a simulator (of sorts) to get you a bunch of practice.  Do you see?  Then once you beat the game once or twice, they’d drop the bomb on you, saying “well, try it in real life”.

Knowing you though, I hope your parents didn’t hold their breath.

Because God forbid they’d have to keep spending $28.99 (the original retail price of Paperboy) on some dag-gone video games!  And seriously, did anyone ever beat it?  Did you ever beat Paperboy?  I never did, and I don’t know anyone who ever has, so we all would have made horrible paperboys in real life.

All kidding aside though, I think it was something about the lines, the restricted areas and the random obstacles that make this a rare game insomuch as it is both fun AND difficult.  Kind of like Bubble Bobble!  Any way you slice it though (I like it julienne), be it innocence, ease, or just simple nostalgic value this game somehow rode off the virtual streets of a fictitious neighborhood full of people that just wanted to read the news… and rolled right into our hearts.

See you at the mailbox, neighbor.

The Jester.

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One Response to “Nerdy Monday 15: My Tribute to a Little Game Entitled Simply: PAPERBOY!”

  1. […] Nerdy Monday 15: My Tribute to a Little Game Entitled Simply … I can't remember if paper boy was on the regular Nintendo (NES), but I know there was a version of it released for the Sega Genesis. There was a sequel to paperboy entitled just: PAPERBOY 2 released on the Super Nintendo (SNES). […]

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