This article has been archived and may have some errors due to a previous design of MGL. None of the review has been altered however. Its time now for a review for a game like no other – Papers, Please.
Who would have thought a Immigration Officer simulator would have ever been created but Lucas Pope did just that. Not only that but it has won countless of awards this year including Best Simulation and was also nominated for game of the year at the BAFTA video game awards.
So lets see if the game lives up to the hype.
Papers, Please is set in the late 80’s in a fictional country of Arstotzka who has opened its borders for the first time. You play as a citizen who is trying to support his family and after winning a government lottery you are appointed as a Immigration Officer. Here you deal with hundreds of civilians trying to get into your country and is it your job to ensure that these people have the right to gain access to your country.
With terrorists, gangsters, human traffickers, freedom fighters and murderers all trying to get in, you really do get caught up in the political story of Arstozka. Being heavily monitored by your government you have to do your job properly and to the best interest of your superiors.
With over 20 possible endings Papers, Please story is massively in depth and you do really get to follow the story of a country that is going through. Your choices could determine the fate of your country.
Papers, Please is more of a puzzle game then a simulation for me. Where you have to find discrepancies in immigrants paperwork with something new being added at the end of each day, it can be something quite simple such as the picture not matching the individual or something quite difficult to spot such as the issuing city being false.
Papers, Please is a tough game where you have to remember what to look for and some of the fakes are nearly spotless in the games later levels. Although you can make mistakes 2 a day will not effect you too badly but anymore and your wages get deducted which you need to support your family and you are also closely being monitored by ‘Performance Officials’ who become very interested in you if you make a lot of mistakes.
You can upgrade your booth as time goes on, where as at first you have to use just the basics with you only being able to tell a fake document by looking at it, however later you have fingerprint software and even the infamous body scanner(which Apple have now allowed you to turn the nudity on or off in the options menu after branding it as pornographic). I do recommend you turn the nudity off as its not a pretty sight. There is a lot of depth to this puzzler and you really do breathe a sigh of relief when the person crosses the border and no mistake has been made.
Papers, Please is tougher then it sounds and the later levels get really tough at times so I recommend playing this when you are alert as it takes a lot of concentration to play, this is not one to play when you are tired or on the go.
Papers, Please is a mixed bag for me in its appearance, it is wonderfully designed, character variation is amazing and the amount of detail in the documents is incredible. However some minor things I do not like, the height system does tend to be a little misleading and at times the ID photos do look all the same making these again are very minor but do effect the amount of mistakes you make.
Sound wise you get the same soviet themed back ground music throughout which fits the game perfectly and the sound effects are spot on also. There is no voice cast for this game and is all done by text but it works really well.
With over 20 endings in the story mode that branch off into several different routes there is plenty to keep you busy, with the addition of an endless mode for those who just wish to play the game for a few minutes or so. Levels last on average between 5-15minutes depending on story events and the game automatically saves after each level giving you the opportunity to return to any day you wish to. There is a lot to keep you busy here.
Papers, Please has lived up to the hype for me and is a hidden gem of a game, I am really happy that I purchased this game and is well worth the price I paid on iOS.
I am eagerly awaiting to see what Lucas Pope has planned in the near future. I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys puzzle games but be warned this game can be offensive as it contains nudity, suicide bombings and some of the choices you can make aren’t exactly moral ones.
Too me this is arguably Indie game of the year and I cant wait too see which ending I get next.