Paper Boy – or Derailed by @fathergeek

This entry was originally shared on the forums of my old site. I’ve transferred it here in-tact, as a single entry. I’ve broken it into sections as I had posted them on the old forums.

I was planning on getting some stuff done today, then an idea was planted in my mind by @fathergeek:
How about a Paper Boy card game!?

How could I pass up this opportunity!? I LOVE that game. So I played it a bit, and here’s what I’m thinking:

2 Player

There are 2 encounter decks and 2 player decks.
The two encounter decks are split into houses and obstacles.
The player decks are identical and contain cards for the various action buttons: Left, Right, Up, Down, A, B

Each player receives a shuffled Button deck and either the House or Obstacle deck.

Each house and obstacle card will have a sequence of buttons that need to be played to complete them.
On a turn, both players will simultaneously flip the top card of whichever house/obstacle deck they control. The players then race to see who can collect the appropriate set of buttons from their deck the fastest. The first one to play them all on the table claims victory of that set of cards.

After each pair of cards is resolved, players reshuffle their Button decks and continue with the next pair of house/obstacle cards.

This is a preliminary thought, obviously… I have more ideas for players failing, hitting obstacles and picking up new papers, but those will have to wait until I’m sure I want to roll with the button mechanic.


Okay, so here’s an example:

Player 1 flips: Customer House: Up, Up, Left, A
Player 2 flips: Rolling Tire: Right, Right, Down, Up

The players must then scramble to collect 3xUp, 2xRight, Left, Down, and A from their deck. The first to do so and “meld” the hand on the table wins the set.


I tested the button deck mechanic and it is indeed fun and nerve-wracking… just like a classic NES title!

I’ll have to test the whole concept with anther player later.

But for now, more thoughts:
I’m thinking about borrowing from “deckbuilding” a bit. Some of the things you encounter in Paper Boy are helpful. Namely, a Stack of Papers. I’m working on an idea that if you win that challenge, you get to add he papers to your Button deck for an added bonus later. This could allow me to add possibilities of messing with the standard filp/search/play mechanic that could get stale after a while.

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