Congratulations. 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.
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (9,883 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 8, 2013

Sign in to add this game to your wishlist or mark as not interested

Buy Papers, Please

HOLIDAY SALE! Offer ends January 2

-50%
$9.99
$4.99
 

Recommended By Curators

"I don't like this game, but I respect it. It made manning a passport station gripping and challenging, though it's certainly a grim tale."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“Buy, study, and share this game as an example of video games as true art.”
BUY – Ars Technica

“..it is absorbing, brilliantly written and causes you to question your every instinct and reaction - both in the game and in real life.”
9/10 – Eurogamer

“Papers Please is a fantastic idea, beautifully executed.”
8.7/10 – IGN

About This Game

Congratulations.
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.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz Core2Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 1.4 or better
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Minimum 1280x720 screen resolution
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX Mountain Lion (10.8)
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz Core2Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 1.4 or better
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Minimum 1280x720 screen resolution
    Minimum:
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz Core2Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Minimum 1280x720 screen resolution
Helpful customer reviews
1,789 of 1,822 people (98%) found this review helpful
18.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 23
Papers, please.
What do you mean? I just want to review the game.
Due to a recent acts of vandalism, reviewers are required to provide proper id.
Oh, yes sure, here you go:
╔════════════════════════╗
║ Steam-User-Certificate ║
╠========================╣
║ Name: Janus ║
║ SteamId: Headmade ║
║ Level: 24 ║
╚════════════════════════╝
The certificate states you are level 24, but according to our database this is not true.
Well yes, I have leveled up since.
I will have to search you, turn around.
What?! This is ridic...
There is something in your pocket. Is that a Bad Rats badge?
Erm I'm keeping that for a friend, I would never play such a...
With credentials like this you do not qualify as a reviewer. Guards!
Nooo!
Detain!
But papers please is great game! You hear me? It's AMAZIIiing...
Next!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
147 of 151 people (97%) found this review helpful
20.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
General Thoughts / Review

Every once in a while an indie game comes along that, to me, is not a clear like or dislike. I started playing Papers, Please and go to day eight before quitting the first time. I thought to myself, "Who the hell wants to play a game based on stamping visas? I can't wait to get done working for the day at my REAL job!"

Two days later I found myself thinking about the game. I wanted to know what happened to the people I approved or denied. Was it better to deny them entry, or to be a tyrant and detain them? I mean, who doesn't know that their visa information is incorrect. LIAR! YOU ARE A CRIMINAL!

It is just a game though, why do I care? I did not, really. I played again, anyway.

The game kept my enthusiasm up as the difficulty ramped up, money was tight, and I seemed to be responsible for the lives of so many more pixel people than I anticiapted. I enjoyed it up until the very end. Good job, author.

Pros
  • Amazingly enough, makes stamping visas intriguing if you are the type of player that can get immersed in pixels.
  • The save system is AWESOME. Almost like a source code repository, if you start playing at an existing day, you create a branch at that day and continue playing in a parallel universe.
  • Many different endings depending on choices made throughout the game. Reminiscent of Chrono Trigger, you do not have to get to the last day to trigger some endings.
  • Even though simple and interactions are quick, you can feel sympathy or opposed to certain characters.

Cons
  • Replayability was low for me. The game has very varied endings, but I found that after I meta-gamed the Steam Achievements out, I was not inclined to go back through and try to get the endings for which there are no achievements for.
  • Certain things feel pointless in the game - although that might have been the developers intent.
  • Can be frustrating and wig out your OCD.

Recommendation

I would recommend Papers, Please if you are type of gamer who does not need flashy graphics or rapid game play to be entertained. If you are a fan of indie game development, Papers, Please is an enjoyable title that may grow on you as it has grown on me.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
357 of 419 people (85%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
"Papers, please." *man hands me poorly drawn picture of himself* "Sir thats not a valid passport" Man: "ok that fine I come back later" *comes back the next day with name scribbled below picture* 11/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
411 of 501 people (82%) found this review helpful
15.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
"papers please"
*gives me all papers including id card*
*id card says killer sideburns*
*old grandma without killer sideburns*
*i arrest her*
best game ever
Was this review helpful? Yes No
262 of 335 people (78%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 8
Now my parents can't say I'm unemployed no more.
10/10 Glory to Arstotzka
Was this review helpful? Yes No
148 of 186 people (80%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
My family died but I was able to pay the rent.

10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
169 of 220 people (77%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 28
Arstotzka is BEST country!
Passport Not needed
Right?
Was this review helpful? Yes No
96 of 115 people (83%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Papers, Please is one of those games where you go in expecting to not like it. The graphics are retro (terrible compared to most other games available today), the controls overly simplistic, the music very repetitive. There are no voice actors; every conversation is shown by moving text bubbles. Finally, there is only one setting and you are completely stationary.

Put all of the above together and you would think that this is one of the most terrible games of the decade. But you would be wrong. Despite its simplicity, despite its repetitiveness, this is one of the most in depth, thought provoking games I've played in years. And with 20 different endings, there is plenty of replayability.

If you haven't played this game, you're missing out.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
81 of 96 people (84%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
This game actually made me break down in tears of sorrow. So much meaningful commentary on life. When I talk about meaningful games, this is always at or near the top of the list. It's hard for me to play, not only because the gameplay is actually challenging, but because of the human element. The things you have to do to continue the game, the decisions you're faced with, are all difficult and challenging. I really think everyone should play this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
51 of 52 people (98%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
Welcome to Arstotzka, a country that has recently opened its border after a war with Kolechia and thanks to the labor lottery, you are the newest immigration inspector in this tumultuous region. Bluntly stated, 'Papers, Please' is a job simulator that has you checking for discrepancies between information. You'll look over permits, IDs and passports. Reading to what the people say vs what is in the information. After you look over everything, you will either approve or deny them. If you find anything questionable, you can have the game check for dependencies, by clicking on two specific things, such as their photo doesn't match their face and then ask them about it. Later in the game, you will unlock things such as searching people and finger printing them.

Each day will have a new issue that you need to check for. Another layer that you look for. The game first starts out by only letting your own citizens back into your country. Then opening the borders to everyone with a ticket, then people need a permit, then a work permit for those working and an ID for your own citizens. You'll see the issuing city that you'll need to check your rulebook to see if its really an issuing city, a gender that you'll get to search their gender even if it looks like a woman, they could be a man, detain people with contraband, question identities and fingerprint them, look at the date of entry vs the expiration date of their passport, look at when their work permit says they'll leave vs how long they told you they'll be in the country vs what they told you. Eventually, forgeries will happen that will force you to see correct official seals are there. It is a lot of information you need to look over.

The major controls are just mouse clicks and drags. You have a rulebook that you can click and drag onto your desk. All information you are given from people needs to be click and dragged into your work desk to look over. Then approving or denying requires you to click to take out your stampers, then move the passport into place and click the approve or deny, then give everything back to the person, by clicking and dragging it back to them. Once you've approved or denied them, then its time to click the speaker to call up the next person in line. Its a very click heavy game, but as time goes on you can purchase booth upgrades that lets you click space or tab to call up things you'd normally just click and drag.

Each person that you process earns you $5. If you make mistakes and approve or deny someone that you shouldn't you will receive no penalty the first two or three times. After that, you start losing $5. Why does money matter? You have 4 people at home with you, your wife, your son, your mother in law and your uncle. You spend money on rent, heat, food and medicine. If you don't have enough money you have to start sacrificing things. If you don't have heat, your family will start getting sick and need medicine. If you don't have food, eventually your family will die. When your family dies its game over. You need to be both thorough and efficient in the game, because you only have so much time in a day. Some days get stopped short with unavoidable terrorist attacks and bombings that cause new rules such as searching every Kolechian.

There are other game over states, like doing something incorrect in front of the wrong person. If you get a game over, you can restart from any previous day. This makes the game pretty forgiving.

As the days go on, a stories will unfold and you'll be responsible for the course of mini stories. You'll meet interesting characters such as diplomats, soldiers with bribes, inspectors, angry people cursing you out, human trafficers, secret agents, mysterious men.

In all, this is a very unique game if not job simulator with a good story, good art style and music that matches the game and back story. I can understand if this game isn't for everyone, but if you can get into it, Papers, Please will keep your attention in a lot of ways. Once you get endless mode unlocked, you have 3 categories: timed, perfect and endless complete with leader boards.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
221 of 314 people (70%) found this review helpful
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
Arstotzka so great, passport not required.
10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
49 of 53 people (92%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Glory To Arstotzka! If you want intense action sequences including stamping passports, shooting terrorists and x-raying people to check for contraband, then this is a game for you! Some aspects of the game become very challanging including telling apart a man from a woman, confiscating illegal paraphernalia and resisting the urge to not leave your border outpost to go to the strip clubs advertised by foreign visiters. Dont let your family die and kill all those terrorisers!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
38 of 40 people (95%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
A concept that is basically running immigration for an eastern-bloc country during the cold war. Sounds boring as hell, right? So deceitful it is then, because few things are more addicting. While playing, I kept finding myself thinking "Just one more day, one more then off to bed". Five hours later, it's 5AM and I'm due at work in three hours. No regrets here, either. The gameplay is simple but deep, and the story branches like a visual novel. Plus it's the only game I've ever played to truly make me actually feel -BAD- for doing what the game tells me to. Video game history teaches us that morality is black and white. Papers reveals how evoke it with more gray area than I ever thought a game could, and it's crazy how easily it does so.

There's a reason this game was voted GoTY by so many publications, and touted as simply amazing by gamers far and wide. Quirky, fun, addictive - you owe it to yourself to play this gem. GLORY TO ARSTOTZKA!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
33 of 36 people (92%) found this review helpful
19.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
A "Paperwork simulator" sounds like a hard sell, but it's encouraging to see that word-of-mouth is getting people to try this wonderful little game out. It's refreshing to have something different for a change rather than another FPS, platformer or suchlike.

Your job is to give or refuse permission to enter your country to various people who come to your customs booth...... it is a hard sell, isn't it?

Okay then, your job is made more difficult in several ways. First of all, your bureaucratic government implements more and more rules as time goes on which means you have to be quicker and quicker at processing, without letting accuracy fall. Secondly, you have certain moral choices to make - you have to feed and warm your own family and that can only be done by processing people as quickly as possible. Well, unless they bribe you to let them in, or the guards bribe you to detain them or... and of course, there's always the risk of forged documentation [which you are punished for if you miss] or terrorist attack [which curtails the day].

This game is deeply engrossing. It's straightforward to begin with, but the difficulty curve is just right, adding complexity day by day - just as you master the rules something else comes along which you have to keep an eye out for. Added to the fact that there are MANY, MANY different possible endings will lead you to replay this several times in order to see what happens.

Well worth a try!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
39 of 47 people (83%) found this review helpful
20.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
This game is a social commentary about life as a border agent in a communist dictatorship/oligarchy. It can show you the struggle that people can go through when they live in an area that is oppressive. This game is not for people that want variety in their gameplay, it has 0 variety. This is a linear game that hardly changes from start to finish. There are many different paths, and depending on how you go through the game, can change in length a lot. I enjoyed this game myself, but you should only buy it if you wish to view social commentary of this type, and not for variety or flamboyant things in the gameplay. I think this is a great game that many people can enjoy.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
26 of 28 people (93%) found this review helpful
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Ever wanted to be an immigration officer at a border? Well this game will give you that chance! The game mainly focuses on you looking at documents and trying to find incorrect information. The game becomes more complex with new types of documents and rules changing throughout the story due do the politics. The game also has a pretty cool story that will have you making decisions on how things will turn out in the future by the power of your stamp!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
44 of 59 people (75%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
I enjoy this game.
This game seems like a bad idea for a game ( I mean seriously who wants to be their favorite hero the border-control-guy)
But this game was one of the most engrossing and entraping games I've played this year.


8.5/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
41 of 54 people (76%) found this review helpful
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
Glory to Arstotzka greatest country in world. Glory to Jorji greatest man on planet. No entry for all Kolechian scum.

Was this review helpful? Yes No
20 of 20 people (100%) found this review helpful
53.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 22
I was amazed at how much fun I had actually "working". It's kind of an old school graphics game,so if that's all you're into, this game is probably not for you. In this game it's all about noticing the detail and staying on your toes. The actual story of the game does not last all that long but it can be some trial and error figuring out how to get things done correctly and learning how to make things quicker for yourself so you can make more money. It also helps to memorize things as well. You also have some moral decisions to make to either help someone or make life easier for yourself. I have nearly 54 hours logged on this game although some of the time is AFK time. I also have all the achievements as well, it's not too difficult to get them all.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
31.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 17
I want to recommend Papers, Please... but:


It has a good story...but not that good to make you want more.
It takes its time to complete... but its extremely lineal.
It has 20 endings... but most of them are similar.
It is really fun at first ... but then becomes repetitive.

I know its an indie game, but i expected a little more
Was this review helpful? Yes No