Retro Mini Reviews: Paperboy and Burger Time

I picked 2 arcade games because I wanted an easy week where I didn’t have to worry about finishing a game. At the time I didn’t think I would even beat Ninja Gaiden 2, but I did and then some. I also didn’t realize this week would be the week after school, and the week that most of my friends are offline. So, bored, lonely and with a cold, I wish I had a long adventure game to trudge through to make the time go faster.


I was disappointed by how much skill I lost over the years. I used to boast about once beating a friend at Paperboy using my feet while eating an Arby’s roast beef sandwich. I’s been a decade and a half since those days and I haven’t even touched paper boy and it shows.

I had to relearn everything about the game. It is difficult to judge where you will hit stuff and where you will not. This becomes easier after you’ve hit, and evaded things a few dozen times but after 15 years, it’s not easy. I guess this is a flaw in the game’s design but it’s one I always overlook because the game is fun.

The goal of Paperboy is to deliver papers to your subscribers while avoiding obstacles in order to try to get a high score. You can get bonus points by destroying certain objects, like windows of non-subscribers and etc. but you then might run out of papers to throw and miss houses. If you miss a subscribers house or accidentally hit their window you will lose that subscriber. The only way to get them back is by getting a perfect run which becomes easier the less houses you have.

I cannot really explain why Paperboy is so enjoyable. It’s just an arcade game with whimsy, fun, and some challenge, and a skater who looks an awful lot like my old skating buddy James who seems to crash into you way too frequently. The game has a bit of nostalgia for me but I still think it’s worth a play if you’re looking for a simple, enjoyable arcade game.

Burger Time:

If I remember correctly, my mom picked up Burger Time several years back, probably a few years after I used to play Paperboy, and I ended up having tons of fun with the game.

Burger Time has one of the weirdest concepts ever. You are a chef who makes burgers by running across them and making them fall down platforms until they reach the bottom all the while trying to outrun an egg and some hot dogs wearing Chucks.

Once you realize how the enemies move it’s easy to manipulate their paths to your advantage and get past the first couple levels without many deaths but it still gets really hard after that.

I can’t really explain how this game can be so good but it managed to become one of my favorite NES titles in my collection. It’s just a fun, quirky arcade game that I think everyone ought to try out for themselves. I still enjoy it after all these years even if I can’t really play well anymore.


2 responses to “Retro Mini Reviews: Paperboy and Burger Time

  1. I used to replay the levels in Paperboy a lot just to catch all the weird things that would get in your way, like the breakdancer, the tiny tornados (or were they supposed to be Tasmanian Devils, maybe?), the apparently sentient tire that would make 90 degree turns to chase you… and freaking Death. That really weirded me out as kid. Why is the Grim Reaper trying to hunt down and steal the soul from some random kid just trying to make some spend money?


    • Death was really easy to dodge. He made me a bit uneasy but I could get away so it was cool. I think the tire might make me the most nervous. Probably the worst thing in the game other than maybe the skater, and cars.

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