The Super Days of NES: “Paperboy” (1988)
Paperboy showed up at the arcade in 1985. It came with a set of bike handlebars in place of any joystick and immediately stuck out as potential fun. And hey, I was an actual paperboy myself! So looking at this new cabinet I thought, “I got this”.
But the arcade version of Paperboy was too hard. The bike moved too fast. The controls were loose. I’d be so busy trying to stay alive I’d forget to actually deliver the papers. When I did manage to throw them out, they would miss the house or break windows. I would be losing customers left and right and there wasn’t much I could do to stop it.
It was a mess, so I eventually stopped playing Paperboy at the arcade.
However, in 1988 Mindscape ported Paperboy to the Nintendo Entertainment System creating a version that was playable.
The controls were simplified and more importantly the game slowed down a bit allowing you to avoid getting your ass continually kicked. And it was here on the NES that I put my real life skills to good use.
Paper thrown right into the mailbox of a customer. Boom, bonus. Avoided the irresponsible break dancers who set up their cardboard boxes in the middle of the sidewalk.
Boom. Made it through the day without losing a customer and actually added a few subscriptions in the process. Which reminds me.
One thing I’ll forever be thankful for is that Paperboy didn’t require me to do what was the worst part of my job as an actual paperboy. Twice a year I had to knock on the doors of houses on my route that weren’t subscribed to the paper to ask them to sign up. It seemed like an awful thing to ask an 11 year old to do. I guess they felt the sweet face of a little boy might be the best selling point we all had. And although nobody actually told me to “f&*k off!”, some people came awfully close. So I appreciate that Nintendo didn’t put me through that ringer again. Cause unlike Paperboy that was decidedly unfun.