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Review of Papers Please!

A review of the dystopian beuaracratic simulator, Papers Please!
This article is over 11 years old and may contain outdated information

Glory To Arstotzka!

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Hail and well met, fellow Arstotzka citizen! Today, we shall review game brought to us by Arstotkan government official, Lucas Pope! You say name not sound Arstotzkan? You sound like Kolechian scum my friend, please do not say such things again! I would hate to be forced to remove you from glorious motherland.

OK, enough with the weird accent. So, Papers, Please is a game currently being made by one Lucas Pope. Currently in its Alpha state, Papers, Please takes place in the fictional country of Arstotzka, obviously modeled after the many breakaway countries from the U.S.S.R. Players take the role of a government worker, hired to work the country’s first re-opened border crossing.

While playing, you have to pay attention to multiple things. Passports need to be verified and current, issued from specific cities, and must match the person in questions basic physical characteristics. Later on, things will get more difficult. Finger-prints must be taken, strip searches performed, and work visas will come into play. And to make things more complicated, each verified entry or denial earns the character money. This money is used to pay bills, such as rent, heating and food.  If you can’t pay them, your family members will become ill!

This is one of those games that really likes to ramp up the difficulty very quickly, giving the player more tools and tasks as time goes on. But there’s a bit of a message in the game about the quality of life in such a place, performing such a task. Special events will occur. Do you detain a “convicted killer”? Do you turn a man’s wife away due to lack of proper papers, even if it means her death? The dystopian feel evoked is sure to make one’s stamp hand unsteady.

You will come to both love and hate this man as your time through the game progresses.

Personally, I give the game 8 out of 10. A couple of things can be hard to grasp so quickly by someone not familiar with such estoeric games. But other than that it’s a solid indie title, that does what so many others fail to do. Get out a message, but keep the gameplay fun and enjoyable.

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Review of Papers Please!
A review of the dystopian beuaracratic simulator, Papers Please!

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Jeremy
A freelance crimefighter and player of VIDYA GAEMS, currently sweating like a pig in the Arizona desert.