Papers, Please – Game Review


Image Courtesy of Objective Game Reviews

The image is a screenshot from the game, showing a typical ‘day’ in game.

Grant Raincsuk, Staff Writer

General Overview:

Have you ever wanted to know how people at border control feel? If so, you’re in luck, because the game Papers, Please gives a rather accurate experience to how it may feel. In Papers, Please, you play as the inspector between the borders of the two fictitious countries, Arstotzka and Kolechia. You, as the inspector, are an Arstotzkan citizen whose name was pulled in a work lottery. You are provided an apartment in exchange for working from 6 AM to 6 PM as the inspector. Throughout the day, you have to account for different people trying to pass, while making sure that they are authorized to pass through. If the person seems to be in good shape, you approve their passport, but if they don’t, you deny them. As the days go on, there are more things for you to check, such as making sure there are not any discrepancies between documents and such. After the day ends, you go home. 


The gameplay, overall, is much more unique than most other games. You’d want to try to get as many people across the border as possible, as each person you let in gets you an amount of credits. Credits are used at the end of the day in order to provide for your family, upgrading your booth, etc. Usually when playing a game, being fast-paced is the key, but that’s not exactly true in Papers, Please. For one, if you go too fast, you are bound to make mistakes, which can be very detrimental, as making too many mistakes can lead to losing credits. Due to this, it’s best to master being able to determine mistakes, rather than taking chances. The gameplay is also kept fresh as each new day adds a new challenge to keep the difficulty level of the game rather consistent, something most other games have trouble doing.


As you get farther into the game, more choices become available to you. The game tests your morality in some ways, such as whether to accept or deny a lady without proper documentation, but would be killed if she were to return back to her home country. Conflict also starts brewing rather early in the game, with a terrorist attack on the wall leading to higher security. At some point, a group of people known as the EZIC want to start a revolution to overrule the current government, at which point you are given the choice to help their cause or stay loyal to your current country.  Be careful in what you do, though, because helping both causes equally would likely not end well for you.

Hopefully, this review gave you a general, good idea on what the game is about, and who knows, maybe even interested you enough to purchase the game yourself. 


Summary/Added Details:

Game Ranking: 9-10/10

Game Rating: T/M for moderate cursing, potential nudity, and mild blood.

Average Gametime: 3-5 hours

Availability: Mac/Windows/Linux/iPad 

Pricing: $9.99