for 1 player
by Atari Corp.
In Norman Rockwell's America, purehearted young men got their start in the financial world by delivering newspapers or selling fruit. In PAPERBOY for the Atari Lynx (an adaptation of the Atari Games/Tengen arcade title), you play such a young man, out to deliver a week's worth of papers on either Easy Street, Middle Road, or Hard Way.
You start off with a bike, ten papers, and two blocks of customers. As you ride up the street, your objective is to deliver papers to your customers with a well-placed toss. Aim carefully -- breaking windows is a fast way to lose a customer. Between customers, throw papers haphazardly to destroy other people's property(!) or hit people(!!) for bonus points(!!!). At the end of the run, you can run an obstacle course and show off your bike-riding and paper-throwing prowlness.
It's not all peaches and cream, though. Crashing your bike into an obstacle (incoming traffic, pedestrians, animals, etc.) will lose you a paperboy. Lose all your customers, or all your boys, and the game ends. Survive an entire week and you may actually keep your job.
A decent adaptation of the arcade game. Minute game details from the arcade original are preserved intact, such as the "hidden targets" (the catburglar, the birdbath --> periscope, etc.). Scoring and gameplay are identical enough that veterans of the original will feel right at home.
There are a few nitpicky points that detract, though. For one thing, while you can slow down/speed up the bike, you cannot STOP. For another, the Lynx version seems a little bit easier than the original. Making mailbox "bullseyes", dodging obstacles, and generally staying alive are easier to do. You do get to pick three different streets of varying difficulty, though there's no way to refine the game further.
One minor "cute touch" -- the Lynx version maintains a seperate high score table for each street. Get a score in the top five for the street, and you get to enter your name. No score-saving mechanism, however.
A mixed bag. Graphics are clearly distinguishable (breakdancers from drunks, trash cans from tombstones), but left me with a sense of "could have been done better". Every extra graphic nicety was counterbalanced by a weak point, leaving an overall OK graphics impression.
Similary, the sounds are indifferential. The background music is a pale shadow of the original, but the other game sounds are appropriate and helpful (especially the musical riffs when you deliver a paper). The volume of the sounds vary widely, though -- you strain to hear a delivery riff and have your concentration broken by a (relatively) loud "car horn", for instance -- again leaving an overall balanced impression.
Not a bad game, though not one of the Lynx's best. It's not a fast-paced breakneck-speed game, so people looking for relaxation should be interested. If you can overlook average-quality graphics and sound, and did not dominate the arcade version, this is worth trying out.
GAMEPLAY: 7.5 GRAPHICS: 6 SOUND: 6 OVERALL: 7