Atari Lynx Review: Paperboy on Lynx Lounge
By Brian Thomas Barnhart |
Hey what is up everybody, welcome back to the Lynx Lounge! BTB here, I am your host as we walk down memory lane and we check out these amazing arcade ports for the Atari Lynx!
In the last episode we reviewed a personal favorite of mine, probably one of my favorite arcade games, RoadBlasters. But today we’re going to be talking about another personal favorite! Why not? It’s my show.
So let’s do the classics, before we have to do some Hard Drivin’. Right? I think you know what I’m talking about. Anyway, we are going to be doing Paperboy! Remember that gem? I do. Let’s check it out.
This episode continues our HUGE arcade block. I’m talking like the next 20 episodes is just going to be dedicated to arcade games that were ported over to the Atari Lynx. Some good, some bad, some really great ones. And Hard Drivin’. Uh..
Paperboy came out in 1985 in the arcades, and much like the RoadBlasters cabinet, now you remember we talked about arcade games that had specific controls for each individual cabinet. Paperboy was another one.
“Wow, what a classic arcade game Paperboy is. The music, the sound, the charm, the characters. I mean, this really really has it all.”
– Brian Thomas Barnhart, Lynx Lounge
If you remember we talked about the RoadBlasters arcade machine had used the Star Wars arcade yoke controller. Paperboy used this too, it was a modified version of the yoke controller.
Instead of handles with buttons to shoot your missiles and stuff like that on it, Paperboy had an actual BMX handlebar! Metal BMX handlebar with buttons on either side where you could toss your papers. I mean… so awesome. You’d press up to go forward, you’d pull back to brake, and you’d push the button to chuck your papers.
Now we’re talking about arcade-specific controls that had to be reworked for whatever platform you’re playing. However, I will say that the Atari Lynx handles it perfectly. Great control, very responsive, and that’s really the first battle, right? You want to make sure it plays good, and you want to have absolute control over whatever it is that you’re doing. Hands-down, Paperboy’s got it and there’s no need to worry.
The music is great, the sound effects are great, all of the little chip tunes are absolutely iconic, and they’re all here in your portable Atari Lynx system.
The graphics are good for on-the-go play. Is it arcade perfect? Absolutely not. However, it plays well, it sounds good, and that’s pretty much all that you need, right?
Paperboy came out on pretty much every single system known to man. I mean, I remember playing a version of Paperboy with my friend on his Commodore 64 forever before it came out for Nintendo NES. I played Paperboy on NES obviously, but to me this one holds a very very special place in my heart because I feel that the arcade music and the sound effects on it are very, very spot on.
Now if you don’t know what’s going on with Paperboy, basically you are a paperboy and you are delivering papers. You have a certain number of houses that you have to deliver your papers to. And then there are houses that don’t want your paper, however you get points when you vandalize their houses.
The game is just completely filled to the brim with charm. It’s got so much stuff going on. The music and the sound effects are just iconic. But also, all of the other things that are happening that are very, very time specific.
You’ve got guys breakdancing that you can throw your paper at and mess them up, there’s dudes fighting on the street, there’s people breaking into houses, there’s kids on big wheels, the grim reaper will chase you, you’ve gotta make it across the street without getting squashed. There’s just so much fun stuff happening in this game.
“People think Paperboy was a Nintendo game, but Paperboy was created by Atari. The arcade game was ported to most other consoles including NES and should’ve been on the Atari 7800.”
– Atari Joe
Okay, so, you gotta ask yourself “are you a collector?” Do you want to collect every single Lynx game that there is? Or, are you looking to just play really great Lynx games? You can kill two birds with one stone on this, because not only will you be collecting the classic Paperboy, but you will also be getting a great game. I mean really, this game plays great.
Hey, thanks for tuning in and checking out the Lynx Lounge! If you like this I’ve got other shows, I’ve got The Jag Bar, where we look at Atari Jaguar games. I’ve have the 7800 Avenue show that we just started where we take a look at Atari 2600 and 7800 games and accessories, and of course the show that you’re looking at right now, Lynx Lounge! Almost forgot the name of it for a second there. It is the Lynx Lounge, don’t forget that.
Anyway, see you guys next time. Cheers!
Paperboy was programmed at Atari by Al Baker. Sound by David Tumminaro. Art by Nathan Baker.
Brian Thomas Barnhart is a classic gaming aficionado, retro pop culture connoisseur, and a Senior Fellow at Atari I/O. He is host of The Jag Bar, Lynx Lounge, 7800 Avenue, and the Atari I/O After Hours Podcast. Brian is a Moderator in the Atari I/O Forums under the name btbfilms76. You can follow him on Instagram and at his YouTube channel.
model # PA 2041