Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Paperboy (rev 3)

Paperboy (c) 12/1984 Atari Games.

The player controls a paperboy on a bicycle delivering newspapers along a suburban street. At the beginning of the game, players can chose to deliver newspapers on any one of three different streets, each with a different level of difficulty. They are Easy Street (easy), Middle Road (medium), and Hard Way (hard).

The object of the game is to deliver newspapers to all the 'customer' houses on the street. There are also black 'non-customer' houses which do not require newspaper deliveries. The player must deliver the papers by throwing them onto the doormats or into the mail boxes. Bonus points are awarded for throwing newspapers at the windows of non-subscribers, with points also awarded for hitting gravestones, street brawlers, burglars etc.

On each street, there is a wide variety of obstacles to avoid; such as street brawlers, dogs, cats, moving cars, pot holes, kids on skateboards, elderly women pushing shopping carts, men on unicycles, radio-controlled toy cars etc. While paperboy can throw newspapers to damage the property of a 'non-customer' house, if he damages the property of an existing customer, that house will cancel its subscription before the following day and will become a 'non-customer' house. This will also happen should Paperboy fail to deliver a paper to an existing customer.

The player's supply of newspapers is limited, but piles of extra papers occasionally appear on the sidewalk and can be picked up to replenish Paperboy's supply. If the player rides their bike too slowly, a swarm of bees will chase them and force them to ride faster. After the player has completed their delivery run on the first row of houses, they must cross a busy junction to get to the next row, avoiding speeding cars or motorcycles.

Once paperboy has completed the delivery run on the second row of houses, he will head straight to the obstacle course, where the player can attempt to hit targets with newspapers and jump ramps before finally riding his bike safely across the finish line before time runs out. During this sequence, if paperboy crashes his bike or runs out of time, the player will not lose a life but that practice session will end and paperboy will proceed onward to the next day. If the finish line is crossed successfully, a bonus is awarded before proceeding to the next day.

If Paperboy makes a perfect delivery on any given day, a non-customer will subscribe and become a new customer. If player loses all of his or her lives, the newspaper headline will read "The Paperboy Calls It Quits" and the game will end. Also, if the player loses all but one life and causes all customers to cancel their subscriptions, there will be a sequence after the obstacle course in which the headline reads 'Paperboy Fired', along with a voice saying 'You are Fired.'. The game will end.

There are seven stages, one for each day of the week. On Sunday, the newspapers are bigger, heavier and do not travel as fast when thrown. If the player successfully delivers the papers on all seven days, there will be a special feature with a headline that will read 'Paperboy Wins Award For Outstanding Paper-Delivery', along with a picture of the paperboy holding a trophy. Afterwards, the game ends.


Atari System 2 hardware

Game ID : 136034

Main CPU : T11, M6502

Sound Chips : YM2151, (2x) POKEY, TMS5220

Screen orientation : Horizontal

Video resolution : 512 x 384 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz

Palette colors : 256

Players : 2

Control : Bicycle handlebars

Buttons : 2 (one on each side of the handlebars, for throwing papers)


On Monday, June 30, 1986; Mr. Mark Caesar and Mr. Robin Hallingstad filed a suit against Atari Games Corp. for $1 million plus profits alleging that the company stole the idea for a video game that was marketed by the name of PAPERBOY. The boys had submitted to Atari a detailed proposal for a similar game in July 1983.

After a score of 10,000,000 or more is achieved, the initial in the top 10 ranking merges with the score to produce a truly impressive score display. For example, if you had top score at 10,000,000, this would appear as '110,000,000'.

The default high score screen of "Cyberball 2072" features names of many Atari arcade games, including PAPERBOY.

Phil Britt holds the official record for this game ('Grand Slam' score of all three streets combined) with 1,136,435 points.

A Paperboy machine was shown at the 2003 classic arcade games show 'California Extreme' in San Jose, California.


1. Paperboy (1984)

2. Paperboy II (1992, Sega Mega Drive)

3. Paperboy (1999, Nintendo 64)


Designed and programmed by : John Salwitz, Dave Ralston, Russel Dawe (Rusty)

Game art by : Doug Snyder

Sound by : Hal Canon

Animation by : Will Noble


* Consoles :

Nintendo Famicom (1988)

Sega Master System

Atari Lynx (1990)

Nintendo Game Boy (1990)

Sega Mega Drive (1990)

Sega Game Gear (1992)

Sony PlayStation (1998, "Arcade's Greatest Hits - The Atari Collection 2")

Nintendo Game Boy Color (1999)

Sega Dreamcast (2000, "Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits Volume 2")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

Nintendo GameCube (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

Microsoft XBOX (2003, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

Sony PSP (2005, "Midway Arcade Treasures - Extended Play")

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2005, "Paperboy / Rampage")

* Computers :

Tandy Color Computer (1985, "Paper Route")

Commodore 16 (1986)

Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1986)

Commodore C64 (1986)

Amstrad CPC (1987) [Elite Systems]

PC [MS-DOS] (1988)

Atari ST (1989)

Commodore Amiga (1989)

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (1998, "Arcade's Greatest Hits : The Atari Collection 2")

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2004, "Midway Arcade Treasure")

* Others :

Tiger Handheld LCD Game (1988)

Mobile Phones (2006)