Papers, Please is an award-winning indie puzzle video game created by Lucas Pope. Set in the fictional, communist[1][2] country of Arstotzka, the player is a border inspector who regulates the border checkpoint in East Grestin. They must determine who to admit and who to keep out or arrest.

Development[edit | edit source]

Main article: Game development

Papers, Please thematically follows the dystopian setting already seen in Pope's earlier games. The game features mid-res pixel art and many items and backgrounds use a limited palette of roughly 3 shades.[3] The game was developed in 2012–2013 and uses the OpenFL engine (previously HaxeNME).

Story[edit | edit source]

Official game description[edit | edit source]

"The communist state of Arstotzka has 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."[4]

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

The protagonist of the game is an unnamed male immigration inspector, who has been chosen for the job via a lottery. With a mother-in-law, a wife, a son, and an uncle to take care of, the family manages to just get by each day; in addition to rent, heat and food must be accounted for at the end of the day, lest the inspector's family members will start falling ill and possibly perish.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Main article: Game modes

The main interface of the desktop version.

The gameplay of Papers, Please mainly centers around checking and verifying documents of NPCs who wish to enter Arstotzka.

Story mode[edit | edit source]

There are 31 playable days in story mode, with 20 different endings. Endings are determined by daily decisions and interactions made by the player. Initial gameplay is simple, but almost every new day brings new rules, regulations and features to pay attention to; failure to comply can result in penalties.

Endless mode[edit | edit source]

Endless mode is unlocked by entering a five-digit code (62131) given after reaching a specific ending. The code can be entered in the game menu to unlock this mode. 

Reception[edit | edit source]

Main article: Awards and recognition

The game received positive reviews, with a score of 85/100 from Metacritic for the desktop version[5] and 92/100 for the iPad version.[6] Publications such as Eurogamer,[7] Polygon[8] and PC Gamer[9] gave Papers, Please scores between 80–90%. In 2014, Papers, Please won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Games Award for strategy and simulation.[10]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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