A video game series where you play as a paperboy (or papergirl, in some games)
who delivers newspapers to a local neighborhood.
In this neighborhood, even on Easy Street... everything is trying to kill you.
The result is a hilarious Nintendo Hard
game that is also effectively a Rail Shooter
, even if it doesn't look much like one. It's far
better than it sounds.
Paperboy provides examples of:
- Angry Guard Dog: Break the window of a house where a dog lives, and he'll start barking furiously and chase after you.
- Announcer Chatter: The game has an announcer, and the Paperboy himself will also comment on his own successes and failures.
- Blah Blah Blah: Used as filler text in the newspaper screens.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Both the Paperboy and the announcer sometimes make comments aimed directly at the player.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Subscribers' homes are bright and colorful, while non-subscribers' homes are ominous and dark.
- Convenient Color Change: Speaking of the above, the homeowners sure repaint their houses fast!
- Deadpan Snarker: The title character.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Or at least trying to make you crash. Cars pulling in and out of driveways, kids on tricycles, construction workers, small RC cars, cats that jump out in front of you at the last second...
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: ...kinda.
- Game Over: Lose all your lives and the front-page story on the next newspaper is "Paperboy Calls It Quits!", with accompanying articles bearing similarly-themed headlines ("Accused of negligence, vandalism", "Daily Sun now hiring").
- Lose all your subscribers and you get the same thing, albeit with the headline "Paperboy Fired!"
- General Gaming Gamepads: Specialized; the original arcade game used an analog controller shaped like bicycle handlebars that was like an odd mix of steering wheel and flight stick, except that tilting the handles adjusted speed instead of elevation.
- The Grim Reaper: Funeral homes seem to be his favorite hangout.
- "Have a Nice Day" Smile: Some of the houses have these painted on them. Hit one with a paper, and it changes to a frown.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: "Easy Street", "Medium Road", and "Hard Way".
- Nintendo Hard
- Nobody Here but Us Statues: One house owner paints himself white, stands among the tombstones and fountains, and then runs at you. He's a little too white, which also makes this character a Conspicuously Light Patch.
- Nonstandard Game Over: Lose all your subscribers and it's Game Over, regardless of your lives. (In which case the newspaper headline is "Paperboy Fired!" instead of "Paperboy Calls It Quits!".
- Rail Shooter
- Rewarding Vandalism: Defacing the homes of non-subscribers earns you points. Doing the same to your customers makes them cancel their subscription.
- Sheet of Glass: In the second game.
- Shout-Out: In the original arcade version, one of the comments the Paperboy makes when he throws a paper in a mailbox is, "Now you have a friend in the paper business." This references American jewelry retailer The Shane Company, whose commercial slogan is "Now you have a friend in the diamond business." Also, there is a street sign on Middle Way that shows Pac-Man crossed out by a red "No" symbol.
- Stalked by the Bell: If you ride too slowly along your paper route, a swarm of killer bees starts chasing you. (These bees later reappeared in the skateboarding video game 720, accompanied by the ominous mandate "SKATE OR DIE!")
- Suddenly Harmful Harmless Object: Some house owners will remain part of the background until you damage their home, at which point they chase you.
- Symbol Swearing: "%#@*!" if you collide with a stationary level hazard (like a house sign or storm drain).note
- Videogame Cruelty Punishment: Your customers will cancel their subscription if you break their windows more than once.
- However, if you do enough damage to non-subscribers' houses, they'll become subscribers.
- Window Pain: Often.
- Worst News Judgement Ever: Your progress is shown on the front page of newspapers, which raises the question of why anyone subscribes to such a publication in the first place.
- Played with in second game, where the next day's front page news is usually related to some incident or another you caused (good or bad).