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Papers, Please Glory to Arstotzka!

#1 User is offline   Shinkansen 

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 08:23 PM

Has anyone played this rather delightful little game?
Trailer here.

Basically, at its core it's a communist state border control simulator. You sit in a booth at a fortified border and process the paperwork of people trying to get into your country. It starts simple enough: check to make sure information on the passport is accurate and make sure the passport isn't expired. However, as time goes on your overseers at the Ministry of Admission keep adding rules. More documentation is needed to get in: work visas, entry visas, id cards, identity supplements, diplomatic visas, and asylum grants. There are multiple things that can go wrong with each form, and each mistake you make costs you a portion of your salary.

And that leads into what I think elevates the game above being just a paperwork simulator: there are numerous personal dramas going on.
You have a family you need to feed and keep warm. If you mess up too much, you can't afford to heat your apartment or buy food, and your family will quickly begin to starve.
But as a border official, you have a level of control over people's lives. They ask favours of you.
A husband and wife are fleeing political persecution in a neighbouring country. The husband has his paperwork in order. The wife does not.
Your supervisor orders you to let his mistress through even though her passport and entry visa are obviously forged.
One particular moment in the game really touched me. Without giving too much away, you can essentially befriend one of the border guards. After a few days he asks you a favour. Of course, said favour would violate M.O.A. protocols...suffice to say I had to seriously think that one over because I had grown quite attached to that one border guard.

The game does a very good at building up an atmosphere of oppression and hopelessness while also providing glimpses into the hundreds of stories that go on at the border post.

I'd actually recommend the game to Myst fans because of both the human element and the fact that it requires a good eye for detail. My biggest complaint with the game is there isn't much variability in the storyline; events happen in the same order at the same time every day, so there isn't really much of an incentive to go back and try and see the various alternate endings.

#2 User is offline   Tweek 

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 10:38 AM

I have been playing this lately. It's a lot more enjoyable than I first thought. I'm not too good at it so far though as I allowed everyone but my wife die and then got thrown in prison for being $15 in debt >.<

#3 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 12:06 AM

It seems simple at first glance but I played that game for hours a while back. I really enjoyed it!

#4 User is offline   Veovis17 

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 05:18 PM

I recently beat the game. Not to spoil anything, but this pixelated indie game made me rethink who i am...

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