Paper’s, Please is an indie game unlike any other. In it, you play a border checkpoint worker in the fictional 1982 Soviet Russian country of Arstotzka. With each day of work, comes new rules and procedures to follow, and random events to occur. The story is based around the corrupt Arstotzkan government in which you work for (without much choice), and the rebel group going against them. You make choices to either help the rebels or the government. There are 20 different endings to the game based on your choices, and throughout the game you make many of those choices either by your morals, or the consequences of your actions.
The gameplay is confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not too bad. You play as the man in the booth at border checkpoints that validates the entree’s documents. You have a rule book to go by and an inspection mode to use to pick out discrepancies in each person’s documents. You get paid at the end of each day, and have to distribute your earnings to pay for your family’s expenses such as food, rent, and heat. If you fail to keep up your families health, you fail the game. You get paid 5 credits to each person dealt with correctly in one day. This can be very unforgiving, as you try to correctly deal with as many people as possible in a short amount of time. If you fail to correctly deal with a person’s documents, you won’t get paid, and if you continue that way, you eventually get fined.
The game get’s more stressing as the days go on, and you begin to feel the pressure. Random events occur such as bribes, moral issues, and reoccurring characters. This keeps the gameplay somewhat fresh, and without these, it would be a pretty miserable time. The game is unique and is unlike most, if not all games out there now, which I have a lot of respect for. Unfortunately, this game is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.
Though the random events help keep the game engaging, it still gets very repetitive, very fast. The game does a good job at giving you a fair representation of a laborious and terrible job, and that’s the issue. You literally are doing a brutal and obnoxious job. I like how the game makes you actually feel like that, but still, I would love to have a little more fun when I play games, ya know? That being said, I felt this game was a phenomenal indie game and should not be missed. Though I personally feel like the $10 price tag is not worth it fully, I recommend it anyway to anyone looking for something new and different with a thick wallet.
- Chris Grieco