Like many of you, I have heard about Lucas Pope's latest game "Papers, Please" and after seeing it in the recent Steam Autumn Sale, I decided to pick it up. The game is very unique and if you are looking for a twitch shooter or MOBA, this ain't it. Papers, Please is a game where you take the role of the immigration inspector on the border reviewing people for entry into the communist state of Arstotzka. You are randomly selected in the state lottery for this job and your family is uprooted and moved to the border. You get money each day by processing people. If you take too long doing your job, you process less people and get less money. If you can't afford heat or food, you family will get sick and may die. If you can't pay your rent you will be thrown in jail.

Papers, Please offers you choices and each choice has an impact that isn't always easy to forsee. In one game, I took a bribe that later got me arrested. In one game, I was moving so slowly I couldn't make rent and was thrown into prison. At one point, a man told me him and his wife were immigrating and that I "should treat her kindly." She didn't have the correct papers and when I let her through, I got a citation that led to a fine.

Papers, Please is a great game in that as I played it I considered what the "right thing to do" was and then what would be the best thing for my family. It's also a strange thing to force someone into a body scanner and analyze the results. On one hand, we have the privacy invasion of body scanners but on the other hand, terrorists are blowing things up at your checkpoint.

Papers, Please is a game I recommend if you are looking for a unique experience that strays away from typical video game tropes. I wasn't sure it was possible to create an exciting game about working at the border of a small communist country, but Papers, Please does it for the glory of Arstotzka!

jaelte wrote on 12/04/2013 at 09:27am

Yes! I too picked up on a flash sale a couple days ago I've very much enjoyed playing it. It gets quite intense, trying to process people quickly without making too many mistakes in day.

My first couple times trying to play it, I was going too slowly and my family ended up dying from sickness. Border inspectors are expected to lead big, healthy families, so having them die off got me reassigned (ending the game). I had another time where I got arrested for failing to defend the border; yet another where I didn't let the correct diplomat through and my superior charged me with theft. Good times, all.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/04/2013 at 04:44pm

Yeah, the game is. Wonder if there is any kind of "win" mode. I know there are a lot of game endings, but curious if anything comes close to something good for you or your family.

jaelte wrote on 12/08/2013 at 07:08am

The happiest ending I got was escaping the country with my son. I didn't have the money/passports to bring the rest of the family, but I bet it's possible.

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