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Title image from the game
Game No. 238
Voting 6.98 points, 41 votes
Developer Chris Harvey, Neil A. Bate
Company Atari Games
Publisher Elite Systems
Musician Mark Cooksey
HVSC-File MUSICIANS/C/Cooksey_Mark/Paperboy.sid
Release 1986
Platform Arcade, C64, ZX Spectrum, Atari ST, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 16, Commodore Plus/4, PC (MS-Dos), Sega MegaDrive, Sega Mastersystem, NES, Atari Lynx, Game Gear, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Nintendo 64, Genesis
Genre Arcade, Action, Miscellaneous
Gamemode Single player
Operation Port 2Joystick
Media Datassette Diskette
Language Language:english
Information Conversion of the eponymous Arcade-game

Description[edit | edit source]

I hate Mondays!
Always these nasty obstacles...

Already read the paper? The Daily Sun has a new paper boy, and that's you, the player. On a BMX bike you cycle a daily route to make sure the beloved subscribers get their newspaper, which you have to throw across the street into their mail box and/or near the door of their house. The subscribers' houses are highlighted in yellow. As for the other (grey) houses, you try to persuade them to take a subscription by throwing newspapers in their gardens or through their windows (great way to attract new customers). You also get bonus points for this, which are added to your score at the end of the level. If, however, you throw a newspaper into the garden or through the window of a subscriber, the subscription will be cancelled and your bonus will be reduced. This also happens when you do not deliver the newspaper to a yellow house at all. The Paperboy has two reserve lifes and is equipped with eight newspapers. Newspaper replenishments can be found in decorative packed cartons on the sidewalk. You have to cycle over them to get them.

The job of our hero is complicated by the fact that, depending on the level, more and more pedestrians and other obstacles are in his way. These include construction workers, dogs, rolling tires, remote controlled toy cars, lawnmowers, children in soapboxes, skateboard riders, limousine snobs, Harley-rockers and even the Grim Reaper of whom we rather don't talk about. Also fences, curbs and manhole covers are not the cyclist's friend, and they happen to be located often near replenishment boxes.

At the end of each level our BMX protagonist has to complete an obstacle course as a bonus level, after which he reaches the finish. When you crash on this bonus track or you can't finish the track in time, you won't get the bonus. You don't lose a life here. If you stay in the saddle long enough, you can even score points by throwing newspapers on tiles and other objects. When you jump over a ramp, you get 8 new newspapers.

You'll receive your bonuses at the end of the level. If you have completed the bonus track within the time (80 seconds) and without a fall, the time bonus of the track is added to your score. Next is the bonus for broken windows and other odd jobs, you'll receive 100 points for each bonus point. Then you'll get an overview of the subscribers' houses and the number of which you've delivered the newspaper at. Customers who did not get a newspaper will unsubscribe. If you did not deliver a newspaper at all, you will be fired. When you have delivered newspapers to all subscribers, you have a "Perfect Delivery" and you earn a "Re-subscriber", that's a new subscriber who wishes to get a newspaper in the next level.

Each day in the week is a level, therefore there are 7 levels. The levels have different colors, and of course it's getting harder by the day. Specifically, each day has more people and objects that make life difficult. The bonus track at the end of a level is also getting more difficult.

Design[edit | edit source]

Paperboy is an early example of an isometric perspective game. The paperboy cycles along a diagonal road from lower left to upper right. The scrolling is very smooth and the graphics are detailed. Whether intentionally or not - the view is in some higher-level slightly more complicated due to the color. The collision detection is pretty accurate.

According to the Timetable of C64 games, Paperboy is considered to be the first game to use border sprites in the upper and lower border of the screen, displaying available newspapers, time remaining, points and number of lives.

Mark Cooksey is not just anyone, but one of the great SID composers. This can be heard clearly here. The oblique, but fun theme music is replaced by a more casual game music. On the other hand, the bonus track has its own, more exciting action music. The game also contains lots of jingles and FX.

Only survive this track and there will be colleagues who welcome you with tasty bonus points ...
Perfect delivery! Word gets around in the neighborhood and brings new or former subscribers.

Hints[edit | edit source]

  • During the tour,: No fuss, using joystick down, you can slow down the pace to slow motion and at rest, you can take a look at the environment and the movement pattern of your enemies.
  • Play it safe: Do not use all your newspapers just to increase the bonus. This can take revenge if one then missed a supply package and you can't deliver a newspaper to a customer. If you always have two newspapers in reserve, you should be safe.
  • Deliver double: When you deliver a newspaper to a doorstep and put one in the mail box after that, you get additional points.
  • High Score hunters beware: Even if the Paperboy still has enough newspapers, one should not ignore the replenishment packages. Always collect the packages, as this not only will give you new newspapers, points will also be added to your score.
  • Bonus points: Apart from windows, lamps can also be destroyed. In addition to the breaking grave stones you can hit mushrooms and trash cans.
  • The Obstacle Course: keep an eye on the time and do not forget to throw newspapers, new newspapers are obtained when driving on ramps marked with arrows. The easiest is when you follow the left route. The right route has more risks, for example dead ends and difficult ramps, but you'll earn more points there when you throw newspapers to the targets.

Solution[edit | edit source]

If you survived Sunday, the game is over after this seventh and final level. As a reward you get a headline in the newspaper.

Cheats[edit | edit source]

You can cheat a little when you have thrown a paper too soon. Simply pull the joystick forward, and not only the Paperboy, but also the flying newspaper gets a little momentum and still hits the mail box.

Another trick or Bug: 99 bonus points by a single throw. This is a low bonus display by a Bug. First, simply deliver a newspaper and then throw a newspaper at the disc in the garden and then through the window. 4 Bonus points will be deducted, but as you have 3 bonus from the disc, you suddenly will have 99 bonus to your account. Of course, you shouldn't collect any more bonus points to avoid going back to 0, because the bug does also work in the other direction unfortunately. The 99 bonus points will be collected at the end of a level (so make sure you finish the bonus track) and you will still have a perfect delivery if you have delivered all the newspapers to the other subscribers as well.

There are a bunch of POKEs. Various versions available on the well-known internet archives (see below/weblnks) contain trainers.

Voting[edit | edit source]

Voting of the C64-Wiki users (10=the best vote):
6.98 points at 41 votes (rank 456).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 7 26 December 2008 - "very good" - 13.764 downs
Lemon64 6.5 26 December 2008 - 124 votes 5,99 9 January 2009 - 21 votes
Happy Computer 53% Spiele-Sonderheft 3/86
ZZap64 44% Edition 87/02

Reviews[edit | edit source]

TheRyk. "That was one of my first games, and I always liked it. In my opinion, the desirability is that the game is easy to understand, but difficult to master, because it will simply never cease to surprise. Suddenly there are two skateboard riders, where in the last level there was only one, four dogs instead of two, and finally you'll even meet the Reaper... Game idea, design and the gameplay have something oblique and chaotic, you'll understand - especially if you yourself as a student once delivered newspapers by bike, running from dogs and also people. I think the game is super and rate it 8 of 10 points due to minor flaws like that the bonus is more important than the number of customers and the human obstacles wear terrible clothes."

Werner: When you try at first, the game is frustrating. But if you have the knack, it plays pretty neat. BUG: The bonus jumps back to 0 when you reach 100 points. That means 10,000 points less at the end!

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

The control of the arcade machine was actually designed as a bicycle handlebar. The C64 Club Dienstagstreff created a bike control for the C64 from an 80s exercise bike and other components, and showed the result at the Hobbytronic-Fair 2003 for some surprise and fun.

For various systems such as Amiga and PC (MS-DOS) Mindscape the sequel Paperboy 2 was launched in the early 90s. The commercial production of game software for 8-bit systems such as the C64 stopped at that time due to the lack of buyers.



Highscore[edit | edit source]

Topscore of qdiace
  1. qdiace - 100.550 (11.12.2017)
  2. Ivanpaduano - 77.140 - sunday (01.08.2020)
  3. TheRyk - 68.750 (10.08.2010)
  4. Soldier - 63.350 (29.11.2010)
  5. Werner - 55.600 (04.01.2009)
  6. Keule - 16.900 (09.02.2019)

#2 Ivanpaduano #3 TheRyk
#2 Ivanpaduano #3 TheRyk

Links[edit | edit source]

WP-W11.png Wikipedia: Paperboy_(video_game)