Nintendo Consoles

Nintendo Consoles

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Paper Boy

Although the trend has spent the last couple of years fading, waiting to be replaced by which ever big idea comes next, the endless runner genre of games dominated the mobile gaming market for quite some time. We first saw Temple Run in the year 2011, which then had to make room and share market space with spin-offs and copycats such as Subway Surfers, and Sonic Dash, but this genre is actually quite a bit older than many of those aforementioned games. Let's take a look at a retro endless runner.

Paper Boy - Arcade/ NES/ others 

Paper Boy is an endless runner made before endless runners were even around. Originally published by Atari for the arcades, it was later ported to many home consoles and P.C.s, including the NES in 1985. Paper Boy is an action game/ endless runner where you play as a boy throwing newspapers to white houses from his bicycle while dodging an array of hilarious obstacles taking the form of anything from an oncoming car, to break-dancers, to the Grim Reaper. It's often not considered to be among the best or most memorable NES games of the time, but it certainly is good for a laugh if not a few hours of cursing out tornadoes bent on ruining this newspaper company's delivery service. 

The paper boy, on his bicycle, is forced forward by default, leaving the player to influence his acceleration, steering, and of course throwing of newspapers. Completing the first level (called Monday) can be a fair challenge to those more accustomed to modern endless runners, but losing a life is usually so funny that one may not mind the initial struggle. If one keeps at it, allowing the humorous obstacles to ease the pain of constant death, then they more than likely may find themselves enjoying Paper Boy, despite its initial difficulty. 

Gameplay employs a pretty simple concept featuring only two rules: throw the newspapers onto the front lawns or into the mailboxes of the white houses, and don't die. Obstacles are added gradually throughout the course of the levels (each of which named after a day of the week), easing you into the experience and giving you a taste of how exciting it is to successfully launch a newspaper from the street or side walk into a mailbox, while simultaneously giving you a taste of the black asphalt beneath your tires as you ride through what has to be the world's most dangerous and unfortunate, possibly cursed, neighborhood. 

In the end, Paper Boy is a short experience with a long legacy. As one of the original endless runners, young gamers today may have no choice but to appreciate that which Paper Boy contributed to a genre that wouldn't be fully realized for another 20 years. All you guys in high school whom I watched kill time during English class by playing Temple Run 2, you may have Paper Boy to thank for your shameful course grades. 

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