A unique role-playing game!
Papers, Please is a premium role-playing game where you will step into the shoes of an immigration inspector. Developed by 3909, this critically acclaimed simulation game will test your decision-making skills as your role requires you to ensure everyone passing through the country’s border has clean and proper papers.
In Papers, Please, you play a citizen of a Soviet-style state who doesn't earn much and is punished financially for making mistakes. As part of your official duties, you need to follow an evolving set of immigration laws, making tough choices to let people through the border.
How to play Papers, Please?
Papers, Please is the perfect combination of curiosity, efficiency, and decision-making. As the immigration officer of a fictional, communist nation in 1982, you need to vet the returning natives and foreigners looking to cross the border. In order to accomplish your goal, you need to scrutinize hordes of documents for inconsistencies, such as faked IDs, expired forms, etc. You also need to use fingerprint systems to check people’s authenticity.
With a focus on the Cold War, you need to keep the border town protected from spies, war criminals, and other anti-social elements. In this strategy game, you get pride from catching people who’re trying to illegally enter the country. There are various fictional cities and towns, such as Arstotzka, Grestin, and Kolechia, which must be protected at all costs.
As the game progresses, the immigration process gets more complicated, with smugglers trying to sneak in objects, and families wanting to enter the country. With several mature themes in this role-playing game, unlike Undertale and Garry’s Mod, you’re forced to make various ethical decisions. Over time, these can have drastic consequences on the lives of others. Your choices can lead to violence, poverty, arrests, and deaths.
A good simulator that focuses on hard choices
Throughout the Papers, Please game, numerous checkpoint guards try to slip you some extra money to detain more people. Similarly, smugglers may want to give you a share of the pie for letting them through. A father without an entry form could ask you to allow entry into the country. Such difficult decisions make it hard to keep up with the game’s pace.
Over time, numerous plots emerge from factions and characters that will test your loyalty, empathy, and compassion. At every point in the game, you need to consider the well-being of your family, who depend on your earnings for survival. These varying scenarios let you shuffle between being good and bad. Additionally, each day on the job terminates with a score, which defines your penalties, earnings, expenses, and bribes.
Along with your better half, you need to pay for heat, rent, medicine, and food, all of which cost money. With your meager salary alone, your character can’t afford to pay for everything. As such, you need to go with the flow, keep a check on immigrants, and extort money from travelers—exploiting the desperate ones trying to enter the state.
Like the Escapists and 60 Seconds!, Papers, Please comes with an engaging storyline. In the Story mode, you need to do a lot more than just paperwork. With several other officers by your side, there are plenty of moral decisions testing your limits. You may need to separate visitors from one another, play a soft-hearted employee, or deny entry to throngs of tourists in one go.
Whenever you commit a mistake, you need to pay a penalty to the Ministry of Admission. This means you have less money for medicine, food, and heat. In order to keep your family alive, tough choices need to be made, and people can get hurt. In search of food and money, you’re always on your toes, trying to do what’s best for your loved ones.
Over time, the storyline gets more dangerous, with the existence of both foreign and local threats, corruption, bribery, and the opportunity to abuse your stamps for other causes. In order to protect yourself, this strategy game requires you to remain extra cautious with your actions as you continuously balance risk with reward. The journey is fraught with moral complexities and leniency is afforded little space.
Alternative gameplay modes
Once the Story mode is over, you can try the Endless version. It’s an interesting choice but turns out to be less enjoyable with fewer surprises. In this version, you can try different modes, such as Timed, Endurance, and Perfection. The ‘Endless’ version of the game acts like World of Warships and other titles that require you to focus on a fixed storyline.
While playing, you need to understand that the game doesn’t focus on modern-day graphics or sounds. Instead, it relies on the art of storytelling and game mechanics to ensure a fun and interesting release. It is a game that makes you think and allows you to introspect certain choices and ideologies. If you’re up for such an adventure, it will be an excellent choice.
Highlighting ethical conundrums
To sum up, Papers, Please is a beautifully executed gaming adventure. Once you start playing the game, it doesn’t take much time to get over the tedious job of checking papers and stamping passwords. Set around the Cold War era, this game requires you to make various tough choices, leading to hard-hitting realities in a simulation-style setting. This is highly recommended for players who enjoy gameplay that demands difficult choices.