Welcome to this month’s edition of Getting Good, a comprehensive series of guides that will help you master your favorite retro games and set high scores, whether at the arcade or at your own home.
This month, we’ll be focusing on teaching you how to become a skilled paperboy and conquer the challenging streets of a classic arcade game, the aptly-named Paperboy. Developed by Atari Games and released in 1984, Paperboy is an iconic title that has captured the hearts of gamers for decades. In this guide, we will delve into the game’s history, explore its plot, and uncover its gameplay mechanics. By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and strategies to excel in the world of Paperboy.
As a paperboy in a suburban neighborhood, your mission is to deliver newspapers to subscribers’ houses every day. However, the neighborhood is filled with various obstacles, challenges, and hazards that you must navigate to ensure successful deliveries. After every run, your performance is evaluated by the number of subscribers you retain each day, with the ultimate goal being of becoming the best paperboy in town.
To achieve this objective, you not only need to properly throw the people’s papers to their front door—or preferably, their mailbox—while trying to avoid hazards and staying on your bike, all without stopping until you complete your route. The challenge here comes from being able to properly aim your throws so that the papers land in the correct spots, while also avoiding throwing them through windows, as this will cause the people to unsubscribe from the paper. However, for people that are unsubscribed, the way to turn them into paying customers is by, funnily enough, throwing a paper through their windows!
It goes without saying that Paperboy is a tough game with a very high skill ceiling, which makes it so that practice is key to getting better at it. Nevertheless, knowing the theory also goes a long way towards helping you master the game, which is why we’ve written this guide. Keep reading if you want to learn the ins and outs of Paperboy and become the best paper delivery boy in the world!
Gameplay Basics and Controls
Paperboy epitomizes the expression “easy to grasp, difficult to master”, especially since its controls are as simple as they can be. In Paperboy, you control the paperboy riding his bike. The handlebar-like controller allows you to steer left or right, adjust speed, and throw newspapers. In other words, you only have controls for your bike, and a single button for throwing papers, which will often be thrown at your left side, where the houses are located.
Your task is to deliver newspapers to subscribers’ mailboxes by throwing them accurately. As such, you’ll have to aim carefully and time your throws to hit the target. Along the way, however, the neighborhood is filled with obstacles such as cars, dogs, skateboarders, and pedestrians. In this sense, it’s crucial to avoid collisions to preserve your papers and prevent accidents, not to mention to avoid failing your route and get fired from your job, leading to a Game Over.
Your success in this game depends on retaining subscribers. For this reason, you will have to deliver papers accurately to their mailboxes, while avoiding non-subscribers’ houses. You can always tell the difference between subs and non-subs by the color of their houses; subscribers have colored houses, while non-subscriber houses are always gray and don’t have mailboxes.
With all that being said, points in this game are awarded for successful deliveries, hitting specific targets, and performing exceptional feats. The idea then is to aim for high scores to climb the leaderboard, by successfully delivering as many papers as possible, while converting more people into being subscribers, and avoiding collisions as you complete your routes.
Paperboy Tips and Tricks
Now that we know the basics, let’s go ahead and dive into a few tips and tricks to get better at Paperboy:
- Aim for Accuracy: Practice your aim to ensure accurate newspaper throws. Pay attention to the timing and angle of your throws to land them directly into subscribers’ mailboxes.
- Learn the Neighborhood: Familiarize yourself with the layout of the neighborhood. Recognize the locations of subscribers, non-subscribers, and potential obstacles to plan your route effectively.
- Anticipate Obstacles: Keep an eye out for obstacles such as cars, dogs, and skateboarders. Anticipate their movements and adjust your path accordingly to avoid collisions.
- Avoid Non-Subscribers’ Houses: Non-subscribers’ houses are not your priority. Focus on accurate deliveries to subscribers’ mailboxes, and avoid wasting newspapers on non-subscribers’ houses to conserve your supply. On the flipside, if you have surplus papers, consider breaking a window or two of non-sub houses, in order to blackmail them into converting to subs on the next day.
- Time Your Throws: Time your throws strategically. Aim to throw newspapers when you have a clear line of sight to the mailbox, reducing the chances of hitting obstacles or missing your target.
- Collect Special Items: Keep an eye out for special items like bonus points, extra lives, and power-ups. In particular, keep an eye out for stacks of newspapers to replenish your supply as you make your way through your route..
- Balance Speed and Safety: Find the right balance between speed and safety. While it’s essential to deliver papers efficiently, prioritize safety to avoid unnecessary accidents and preserve your newspapers.
- Practice Patterns: Observe the patterns and movements of vehicles, pedestrians, and other obstacles. By understanding their behavior, you can anticipate their actions and plan your route more effectively.
Remember, practice makes perfect. With time and perseverance, you’ll develop the skills and reflexes needed to master Paperboy. Good luck on your journey to becoming the ultimate paperboy in the neighborhood!
Thanks for reading! Here at PrimeTime Amusements, we like to keep ahead of the curve in arcade game rental and sales and pride ourselves in providing the best service in the country. If you’re looking for a game in particular, or have a few questions about the industry, feel free to give us a call at 1.800.550.0090 or to swing by at 5300 Powerline Rd. Suite 210, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 33309.