Papers, Please

Papers, Please

I knocked a game off my goal list I made last time! I spent last night and this evening playing Papers, Please! It’s yet another game I obtained from the recent Steam sale.

In Papers, Please you play as an immigration officer at the recently opened borders of a country called Arstotzka. From the small blurbs I’d read about it before I didn’t really know what to expect, but I decided to give it a shot. While I was expecting the game of trying to discover if the people handing you their documents are lying or not, and finding out what was wrong, I was not expecting the minigame of going home each night and having to decide how you are going to spend your (extremely meager) salary to try to keep yourself and your family warm, fed, and healthy.

I also was not expecting how crappy I would feel denying entry to certain people who didn’t have all their documents – many of them had their own small sob stories and some of them really sucked. After having played through once (there are multiple endings; I got ending 18 this time around) I’d like to try to help some of those pixel people more given the chance.

There wasn’t a ton of instruction early on, so a replay would definitely give me the upper hand in the earlier sections of the game. There were things I didn’t think to check that of course you learn to check pretty quickly when you get your first citation for being wrong. It’s also surprising how stressful pixel terrorist attacks could be, even when your character is not in any direct danger from them.

Anyway, I ended up enjoying the game and while I don’t have time for a replay now, I definitely see some replay value in it given the many endings. It took probably about 4-5 hours to go through the whole story mode, though that might be faster on the second time through. They do slowly introduce more mechanics through the game so checking and cross checking papers doesn’t really get boring… though honestly I’m not sure why I found it fun, either!

I thought Rock, Paper, Shotgun had a great write-up on Papers, Please which is part of what convinced me to pick it up in this recent sale.

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