‘Papers, Please!’ – A Very Stressful Game

Papers Please

During the summer steam sale, I looked into many indie title games available on Steam and are on sale. Papers, Please happens to be one of them.

Like many indie games, the gameplay is very unique. You are the inspector of a fictional country called Arstotzka, guarding one of the entrances of the East border of the country. A war against a neighbouring country has just ended but the peace is still very fragile. Your job is to inspect everyone who wants to enter the East border of the country. The means of inspection is by examining their personal related documents such as passports and ID cards, hence the title, Papers, Please.

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The beginning of the game is pretty easy. Accept every locals, deny all foreigners. However as time goes by, the number of documents needed to be examined increases and the means of inspection changes according to what country the people are from. The requirement of who should and should not be accepted also changes. Your work table will be filled with different types of papers. By that time, you really need to organise your table and how you examine the papers.

But it doesn’t stop there! Sometimes people will randomly give you prostitution advertisements. It is ridiculously annoying. I can’t even afford food, and you tell me to go to prostitutes?? Other times, agents give you a documents to be given to some kind of secret Information Department. Then another agent comes in and tells you that there is an impostor so now you have to give the impostor a fake document WHICH LOOKS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE REAL ONE. Trying to inspect everyone quickly with so many different types of papers on your messy desk, it’s extremely hard to keep track of everything. This game is actually quite stressful. 

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You also have a family you have to provide. This includes your wife, son, mother-in-law, and your uncle. I don’t know why your uncle lives with you but… well that’s life. You need to pay rent, food, heat and medicine in case someone in your family gets cold. It certainly doesn’t help that your salary is extremely low. If you make a mistake by accepting someone with wrong information or denying someone with correct information, you’ll get a penalty and your salary is cut. So you really need to examine the papers thoroughly but also quickly because your salary is based on how many people you accepted.

Anyway yea. Papers, Please. It’s a really unique experience and I really like it. There are a total of 20 endings in this game, so, many of your actions will affect how the story plays out. You don’t have to buy this game though, just watch other people play it and I think you’ll understand the overall experience.

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