Papers, Please(Try This Game!)

5 Sep

Today big budget, gigantic games, featuring epic storylines and graphics to make Pixar look weak can maybe crank out 10-20 hours of gameplay, and then you’re done. Why is it that a ten dollar indie game about paper work can deliver up to 50 hours of engaging entertainment?

The game, Papers, Please, is a fairly new indie title and is basically an immigration border checkpoint simulator. That may sound boring but the interesting thing about it is that it was created by Lucas Pope who designed, scored, wrote and coded the entire game by himself.

Papers, Please has the appearance of an old MS-DOS computer game and only the most basic of animations and clip art graphics set to nothing but the sound of the equipment you use and your own breathing making it more realistic than first looks show.

You play a family man in the fictional country of Arstotzka which is set in a parody of Eastern Europe during the Cold War era. You have been selected to run the border as an inspector and must decide whether or not a person is allowed into the country.

You have a set salary and get paid an extra five credits when you successfully let people into the country but if you let people through who have incorrect information you will be penalized. The tension and excitement comes from trying to get as many people in the country as possible, without making a mistake and making enough money to feed and take care of your family, who without sufficient funds will eventually starve or get ill and die.

Even after that the game may not sound that appealing but there is strength in its simplicity. Several things happen in and out of the checkpoint and your life and job effects the life of everyone who comes through the gate.

The basics of gameplay is verifying someone’s papers through a point and click interface and checking various things such as name, age, height, weight, expiration date focusing mostly on the passport and stamp it approved or denied on your discretion. This can get hectic as the days go by and your miniscule desk space forces you to check things almost one at a time all while having a time limit.

A conspiracy involving a secret organization, daily wanted lists and even some more humorous characters that  succeed to frustrate you as they waste every precious second you have dedicated to doing your job and taking care of your family.

This is a fantastic game and a testament to how an emphasis on how a plot is interwoven through the gameplay to make an unforgettable experience.

Two swollen thumbs up.

Thanks and See Ya Later!



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