Paperboy 2

Let it be known I already wasn’t a fan of the original Paperboy. I always felt like the game was full of cheap, stupid challenges, because it was also short.

I get the premise, which is a cool, and how some folks probably loved it – maybe still to this day.

I’m not one of those people.

I also get that it was an arcade game meant to eat your quarters, which I don’t believe translated well to home consoles. So, tack on my frustration and general dislike for the first game, and multiply it tenfold for the sequel, which is every bit of a money grab.

The developer, Tengen, made sure that Paperboy was available on every imaginable console available at the time. It’s sequel also shows up in places it shouldn’t be too. (I’m looking at you Game Boy!)

The reason is the simplicity of the game. In this NES version of Paperboy 2, nothing has really changed from the original!

Oh hey, the A and B buttons toss papers to either side of the road. Very innovative!

There’s also a “Papergirl” now too! Gee whiz! Golly! Take my money!

They also added an intersection in the road, which, I guess, mixes up the game play from the OG title.

I can’t say enough bad things about this intentional attempt to slap a new cover on an old book. Even looking at older reviews from when this game was launched, most of the gaming magazines panned it – some even worse than I did – stating the gameplay is repetitive, and the audiovisual content is dated compared to other games of its era.

Honestly, this is the type of game you only played as a kid because it was one of the four cartridges you owned, gifted to you for a birthday or holiday. You kept putting it in, trying something other than Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt, only to be disappointed and frustrated time and again.

We did that in the 80’s and 90’s… there’s no reason to torture yourself today by even booting this up!


I’m going to crush some of your childhood memories of this pointless game… Seriously, even with Wayne’s World, I haven’t put down a game where I’ve said: “What did I just play?”

Even with that weird ass game (Wayne’s World) I knew it was based on a movie and that games based on IP such as movies and comics usually sucked hard.

This game?

It’s based on a job: busy work for little kids looking to make a few pennies, slaving every single day of the week with no breaks.

“Oh, that sounds like fun! Let’s make it into a game!”

No. Just no… Lots of no!

I understand the appeal though, as all games from this generation were impossibly difficult and suffered from lame graphics, poor controls, and zero logic. Furthermore, this NES title was derived from an arcade game designed to extract as much money from your pocket as possible. (With the irony being, kids were probably delivering papers to blow quarters on this in the arcade!)

Along the line somewhere this became a concept and now they had to figure out how to make it into a reality. Naturally, the kid on a bike must have some obstacles to overcome to find the goal, right?

Is that a gap between the road and the car? Yes, it is.

Can you go through it?

Not without crashing into the car!

The road hazards seem like a natural fit, as did some other obstacles. Some make complete sense! An angry homeowner or dogs chasing you? Makes sense!

Even random construction or street workers, or the occasional go kart or motorcyclist make sense.

But a tornado? Tombstones? The Grim Reaper?! Odd looking discs?

Not so much.

Then there’s the “training course”, which should just be code for “this game is Excitebike tilted at 45 degrees” – that just screams “don’t even try playing it”.

Good riddance!

I do get some of the appeal with this game, however, and that’s the satisfying feeling of breaking windows with your newspapers (instead of, you know, delivering them on a porch or mailbox!)

However, this was not the trip down memory lane I was hoping it was. Even with multiple attempts, that trip ended by landing in a storm drain…

I’m sure this has nostalgia for many, but since I wasn’t traumatized by this game as a youth, it was nothing but a frustrating romp. Play at your own risk!