Papers Please

Papers Please

It is an indie game in which the player works as an immigration officer
1.5 (See all)

“Papers, Please” is an indie game in which a player works as an immigration clerk in the fictitious communist country of Arstotzka. Small mistakes, as well as wrong everyday decisions, can greatly affect not only the lives of the immigrants, but his own life or the lives of his family members.

Definitely, I’m not the only one who was seriously impressed by this game. The contrast between its simple graphics (it takes only 40 MB of disk space, and that’s amazing for the game made in 2013) and the impact that it has on the player through its addictive gameplay is something that was extremely rarely met before. This is mostly because of the emotions the role-playing part of this game involves. Playing this game is not only paying attention to details (checking the “papers” of the immigrants), but also a matter of making tough choices that influence somebodies' lifes. It makes you think about risks at every step and it can even make you take a reflective stance over the complexity (or not complexity) of your life. The gloomy atmosphere that surrounds the game experience is augmented by the environment where the storyline is set.

So, in spite of having simplistic visuals and a rather straightforward gameplay concept (you just check documents for the state of immigrants being inconsistent and make decisions when such issues are found), “Papers, Please” is not easy to overlook, forget, or ignore. It’s far from just a “paperwork simulator”, it’s a vast experience provided in the shape of a simple yet unusual game.

Margie Smeer
Editor rating:

Review summary


  • Neat, lightweight, resource-friendly game.
  • Can be played on older systems too.
  • Manages to provide a truly immersive experience.
  • Multiple possible endings


  • Simplistic visuals
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