Papers, Please is a story puzzle game developed by Lucas Pope available on iOS, Microsoft Windows, MacOS, and Linux operating systems. The year is 1982, and the country of Arstotzka has finally ended a long war. Everyone is recovering from the war, and people want entry to the Homeland. This puzzle game focuses on the life of a border agent working...[read more below]
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Papers, Please is a story puzzle game developed by Lucas Pope available on iOS, Microsoft Windows, MacOS, and Linux operating systems. The year is 1982, and the country of Arstotzka has finally ended a long war. Everyone is recovering from the war, and people want entry to the Homeland. This puzzle game focuses on the life of a border agent working on the border between Arstotzka and Kolechia. Of course, this a dangerous place in the aftermath of war.
Players take on the role of a customs agent guarding the border between their Homeland of Arstotzka and Kolechia, a neighboring nation. Players evaluate different immigrants and must choose whether to accept or reject them. As a loyal citizen, players have a family that needs support. This adds a layer of complexity to the game. When the game starts, immigrants are plenty. However, the accepted immigrants change daily based on events in-game.
There is a heavy dose of social commentary in this video game. Although the graphics are simple, this allows the story and themes to shine through. However, the sound effects are very realistic, with buttons that make a variety of interesting beeps or clicks. This really adds to the ambiance of the game. For example, feel the tension as dated, grainy and annoyingly noisy scans of an immigrant show, in fact, a gun concealed beneath that burly shawl. Alternatively, explosions and gunshots that ring out against general muted shuffling create a dreary and reflective tone.
Sit in a booth with two big rubber stamps. One says "Accepted" while the other says "Rejected". With the push of a button, players stamp visas and send immigrants to their designated areas. The puzzle aspect presents itself in comparing the accepted immigrants to requirements posted in the agent's booth daily. Furthermore, there is a limited amount of time to look over every visa. Accepting or rejecting the wrong people can have major consequences. Not only are things like rent, utilities, and food deducted at the end of every day, but also keep track of family members' wellbeing on the right side of the screen. Since there are over 20 endings, players find themselves exploring the stories of Papers, Please over and over again. Because the front lines of a post-war society can be a dangerous place, some endings inevitably lead to death.
Papers, Please is a video game that focuses on story-telling through puzzles. Play as a gatekeeper between two war-torn countries. Work the menial job, and do it well to earn money. Use the money to support a family, keeping them alive in troubled times. Decide who's allowed in and who gets turned away. There will be many sad stories, but trust is a dangerous thing in this world. Simple, intuitive controls make the game flow. Get immersed in figuring out who comes in and who stays out. Discover many endings by taking chances. Not all of them are pretty, however. The social commentary is a great experience for anyone who loves story-driven, thoughtful puzzles.
Papers, Please is a puzzle-based story game about what happens through the eyes of a border agent on the lines of a post-war immigrant crisis.
What follows is the official description of Papers, Please, from the developers.
The October labor lottery is complete. Your name was pulled.
For immediate placement, report to the Ministry of Admission at Grestin Border Checkpoint.
An apartment will be provided for you and your family in East Grestin. Expect a Class-8 dwelling.
Glory to Arstotzka
The communist state of Arstotzka has just ended a 6-year war with neighboring Kolechia and reclaimed its rightful half of the border town, Grestin.
Your job as immigration inspector is to control the flow of people entering the Arstotzkan side of Grestin from Kolechia. Among the throngs of immigrants and visitors looking for work are hidden smugglers, spies, and terrorists.
Using only the documents provided by travelers and the Ministry of Admission's primitive inspect, search, and fingerprint systems you must decide who can enter Arstotzka and who will be turned away or arrested.
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