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 (9,046 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 8, 2013

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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
28 of 31 people (90%) 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!
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15 of 19 people (79%) 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.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
22.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
Papers, Please!
The real work is on the border of the Iron Curtain.
Simple in appearance, but monstrously complicated and interesting.
Will serve as a great Arstottska!
In the meantime, show your DOCUMENTS!
9.8 out of 10 caps
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
6.6 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
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
It's a very fun game. It takes monotony and finds away to make it fun and you feel invested in what you're doing. You're scanning people's passports for errors using various tools as an immigration officer for a fictional Russian-like country.

For the most part it's pretty stright forward but as time goes on the things you have to look for become more numerous and more subtle raising the difficulty as time goes on. For every day you complete you get money. And with that money you decide which necessities your family can afford. Maybe today they get to eat. Tomarrow they may get some heat in your apartment so they don't freeze to death. Maybe your son needs medication or he won't make it through the night. Rarley will have enough to do everything and if you don't manage your funds it's very likley that some or all of your family will die.

But it's not all just checking passes and hoping your family doesn't die from having their basic needs to unforfilled. There is a bigger story happening and while you're never outright told if you fulfill certain requirements the story will turn down one of a handful of paths.

It's a very interesting game and I highly recommend it.
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7 of 9 people (78%) 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, platformers 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 fail. 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 ride, 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!
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4 of 4 people (100%) 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.
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8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
Glory to Arstotzka!
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9 of 14 people (64%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
I got a cereal box decoder from a creepy dude in a hood and then i was executed in front of my family.
10/10
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
A game for the ages, and seemingly made ages ago. Plain graphics with pixels a plenty; Papers, please is the simple, and yet addicting game that will separate itself from others. You micromanage by approving or denying citizens through passports and other documentation. Worth a try once you time the steam sales right.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
27.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
It says that you're a male.
-The passport is right.

10/10
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
GLORY TO ARSTOTZKA!
DEATH TO KOLECHIANS!
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
20.1 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.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
Its a game where you sit in a chair and yet, I really enjoy it. If you want to play something different go ahead and pick it up. You wont be dissapointed with the choices and multiple endings the game has to offer.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
Papers, Please is certainly a unique and interesting experience. The game tasks you as an immigration inspector at the border of the fictitious country of Arstotzka. You job is to approve or deny entry into the country based on whether there are discrepancies in the paperwork presented. Although it may sound like something you should be paid to do in real life, it is actually quite addictive.

Papers, Please starts off a little slow, but as you progress it becomes increasingly more interesting. As you continue to approve or deny entry, the game presents you with subplots that keep you interested. I find that this is the highlight of the game. For instance, some people may ask you to deny access to another person down the line, explaining that if they are approved they could be killed by them. This presents you with an interesting moral dilemma: Deny that person access, even if they have the correct paperwork, and take the penalty for an unauthorized denial, or accept that person anyways to avoid penalty. This plays into the other aspect of the game which is maintaining the health and welfare of your family. You are paid based on how many people you correctly process. Although you are allowed two mistakes per day without cash deduction, you still only make a certain amount of money to pay for food, rent, heat, and medicine.

Each level is broken down it days. You are presented with a time limit to correctly process as many people as you can. This provides you with another interesting choice: skim through the paperwork and risk taking penalties, or be meticulous and thorough. I found that a happy medium between both was the best option. Although I usually made a few mistakes and took a few penalties, I was able to make a decent amount of money at the end of the day. This encompassed with the moral dilemmas presented means you are never bored.

The only problem that I had with this game was that sometimes I felt a little overwhelmed with all the decisions. In addition to regular inspection and subplots, each day added additional rules that you have to follow. For example, on a new work day, all immigrants from a certain country were required to be searched every time they came through the checkpoint. It may not sound like much, but with all the other things to consider, sometimes it can be easy to forget.

On the flip side, at the end of a hard day’s work, you are tasked with deciding what to spend your money on in regards to your family. You may want to save 20 credits for later, but your family goes that day without eating. There is no time limit on these choices. This offers another interesting gameplay element, but it is also a welcome break from the timed work day.

Although the graphics look like this game is from the 16-bit era, the presentation is flawless. The gray backdrop of the inspection checkpoint makes you feel like you’re actually working a desk job in a Soviet-like country. The closest thing I can compare it to is the movie adaptation of 1984. The further notion that you were chosen to do this job by a labor lottery helps solidify this. Also, this may be a subtle detail, but having desk in front of you in which to drag and drop paperwork, pull out approval or denial stamps, and look at your rulebook adds to the realism of the experience. This makes the game feel less like…. well…. a game and more like an actual job. Having the ability to actually hand people their paperwork instead of pressing a button simply makes the illusion more real.

All-in-all, Papers, Please is certainly a game at least worth trying, although the $10 price tag is a little steep in my opinion. It may seem like a simple game on the surface, but it is actually a thought provoking experience. The only players that I think should stay away from this game are those who do not like racing against time. If you are looking for a more relaxing indie experience, I would not recommend this game. Otherwise, Papers, Please is a fun and interesting experience that any gamer would enjoy. This absolutely deserves my recommendation.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
Mixed feelings with this game but like it more, I love the old graphics, the multi tasking smarts, still confused on the achivements but its fun to learn new things ya? my bad points is, you lose intrested in it fast.. you play for couple days and then you never touch it again..
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2 of 2 people (100%) 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
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Very enjoyable game! Have played this a lot and plan to play more, more games like this please!
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
26.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
essentially,the game is a border inspector simulator(which is probabbly the most unused genre ever) now you wouldnt think such a game would be so artistic and great...that's where my mind was blown with the game. i would spoil the rest. but you really need to play the game to realize how great it is.
GLORY TO ARSTOTSKA
9/10.
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20 of 38 people (53%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Yes
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