Papers, Please was developed by Lucas Pope beginning in November 2012. As an American living in Japan, Pope dealt with immigration in his international travels and thought the experience, which he describes as “tense”, could be made into a fun game. Before release, Pope had set up a name submission form for the public, where people could submit their own names to be randomly assigned to scripted characters in the game. Papers, Please was submitted to Steam Greenlight on April 11, 2013, and was greenlit on May 1.
Hop on the border
In Papers, Please you will play as an immigration inspector at a border checkpoint, whose duty is to check that only certain people are allowed to cross the border to Arstotzka. The game gets progressively harder, making the player choose to either save up the low income he gets or feed their family. Also, the game introduces more difficult things to check on arriving immigrants.
A mysterious anti-government organization also appears, with several of its members appearing in the checkpoint, giving the inspector orders on what to do in order to help the organization bring down the government and establish a new one; the player can choose whether or not to help this organization.
The game has a scripted story mode with multiple possible endings depending on the player’s previous actions, as well as an unlockable, randomized endless-play mode.
Intriguing game with hours of gameplay
As the game gets progressively harder, introducing new game mechanics does not get boring. You can really dive deep into the game’s fictive lore, which has a hint of reality. If you want to try balancing your work life and keeping your family healthy while trying to not break the rules of Arstotzka. Then this is something you should give a try.