Papers, Please is a puzzle, simulation game focused on the emotional task of working as an immigration officers, deciding who you let in and who you deny entry of. The game is based in a fictional country called Arstotzka.
The game play focuses around the work life of an immigration inspect at a boarder checkpoint. Players will inspect documents and using a selection of different tools to work out whether the papers meet all of the criteria to warrant access to crossing the boarder. When you do find a problem with the paper work presented to you, there is also the option to interrogate the applicant, which may result in the need for further information such as a full body scan or finger printers. Once you have worked out all of the paper work and questions being asked, you have to make a choice whether to Accept or deny entry, and then call the next person in line. Only then are you told any mistakes that you have made in the form of a warning slip.
On top of wading your way through all the paper work, you also have a time limit for the day in which you have to process as many applicants as possible. At the end of each working shift, you will earn money based on how many people have been processed, bribes collected, as well as deductions for any penalties you accrued. Then you must decided how to spend this money with your families budget, spending it on rent, food, heat and other necessities such as medicine or upgrades to your working environment.
Paper, Please has a very prominent sound track, which starts as a slow marching rhythm made by bass to represent flow of entrants in the line of applicants and how tired and depressed they are. Although the technical side of the music is basic, it is probably one of the most memorable soundtracks you will hear from a game.
The game is only as difficult as you make it; if you pay attention to every little detail, you shouldn't fail. Only if you missing key bits of information or just not paying attention in general will your warnings pile up, and you will start to get less and less money, which results in your bills not being paid, which then results in having to start all over.
The game took me a little over twenty hours to complete one run, there is just a huge amount of content to go through, although some of the applicants are scripted such as terrorists or smugglers, along with plot characters, a lot of the others are randomly generated which means no run should ever be the same.
Technically, I had no issues what so ever. It's a very technically simple game which can be played in Windows mode without problems either.
Papers, Please will certainly not be for everybody, but if you want to try something different from the regular shooting and spell casting games we are drowning in today, pick this up. I got over twenty hours of game play out of this awesome £6,99 title.
Glory to Arstotzka!
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