The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best” thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
Atari’s 1985 arcade game Paperboy is one of those bonafide classics that’s seen release and re-release on numerous consoles and computers over the last few decades, and the mobile is no exception. In December of 2009 Elite Systems released a game titled simply Paperboy which included the original as well as a “reimagined” version featuring 3D graphics. However, just a few months later that game was pulled due to a licensing dispute, likely having to do with Paperboy: Special Delivery which was developed by Glu and released in November of 2010. Neither game was especially good and both are nothing more than memories at this point. There have also been several Paperboy-inspired mobile games over the years, and while some have been pretty decent most of them failed to capture the playfulness and personality that made the original game so endearing. This week The VideoKid (Free) from Pixel Trip Studio, which had previously released on console and PC, made its way to mobile and in my opinion it captures both the feeling and mechanics of the original Paperboy in a way that feels perfect on mobile.
First off, The VideoKid is like an homage to everything ’80s and features more than a few legally questionable characters that you’ll instantly recognize from America’s most neon decade. Rather than delivering papers you play as a totally-not-Marty-McFly delivering VHS videos to your customers on your skateboard. The game plays from the same sort of angled isometric view as Paperboy but has three defined lanes you can switch between. You can also ollie on your board which means you can leap over objects and even onto cars, and since you’re on a skateboard you can also perform tricks on things like bus benches. This enables you to string together combos while you’re cruising down the street delivering your VHS tapes to your customers’ mailboxes, helping you increase your score. There’s also coins spread all around to collect which can go towards unlocking a whole bunch of playable characters, most of which are again legally questionable representations of some famous ’80s and non-80s personalities.
Mechanically The VideoKid is super solid, but it’s really all the little details that make it so enjoyable. The aforementioned legally questionable characters are a big part of that, as if you’ve ever wanted to peg the California Raisins or the Care Bears in the head with VHS tapes, you can totally do that here. The references are all really well done and are absolutely everywhere. Fraggle Rock, Inspector Gadget, Transformers, Roger Rabbit, The Chipmunks… they’re all here, and they’re all ready to be blasted in the face with an outdated form of media storage. It’s like my childhood in mobile game form. If you enjoyed Paperboy back in the day and have wished for something like it on mobile that didn’t suck, or if you just appreciate fun games, The VideoKid is definitely worth a download. Check it out, see if you can spot all the references, and share your thoughts and high score prowess with other players in our forums.