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Papers, Please Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 850 Ratings

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  • Summary: The communist state of Arstotzka has just ended a 6-year war with neighboring Kolechia and reclaimed its rightful half of the border town, Grestin. Your job as immigration inspector is to control the flow of people entering the Arstotzkan side of Grestin from Kolechia. Among the throngs of immigrants and visitors looking for work are hidden smugglers, spies, and terrorists. Using only the documents provided by travelers and the Ministry of Admission's primitive inspect, search, and fingerprint systems you must decide who can enter Arstotzka and who will be turned away or arrested. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Aug 12, 2013
    A true game, with a base gameplay that gets more and more complex as we play, with subtle touches and ruleset changes. But it's so much more as well : a deep dive in a terrifying dystopia, brilliantly crafted, that will put your life into perspective and awaken your political consciousness with both violence and humor.
  2. Aug 14, 2013
    Evil is performed by men in suits, golden pens in their chest pockets, and stamps in their hands. With a single move with their wrists, they sign death warrants, never seeing the consequences of their actions, maybe not even caring about them.
  3. Aug 31, 2013
    Papers, Please manages to make the apparently boring profession of border guard incredibly engaging and thrilling. Music, graphics and writing all contribute to an oppressive atmosphere that pulls the player in and holds them captured.
  4. Sep 9, 2013
    Well-paced, straight-forward game play combines with vivid storytelling to make into a fantastic game. More than a tale of bureaucratic spot the difference, Papers, Please is a game of intrigue and excitement balanced by fear for your family.
  5. Oct 3, 2013
    It's a tribute to the Cold War. An addictive game that's full of sarcasm and social commentary. A game that you should definitely try.
  6. Sep 18, 2013
    Papers, Please is anything but a standard adventure, but beneath the seemingly unappealing premise of bureaucratic drudgery and human misery lies a fascinating game of choices, surprises, and intrigue.
  7. 60
    A novel, stylish game taking advantage of its minimal design more than you would believe, and it succeeds in arousing your emotions, which is the thing other game titles could dream of. [Issue#233]

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 189
  1. Aug 8, 2013
    This is an AMAZING game. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did, I thought it'd get boring after a while, turns out, it doesn't. So many things are added that keep it fun and exciting, and some of the smaller things are great too. This game really brings me to think about morals, when do you break the guidelines? What do you risk, letting someone with a weapon through, and being able to feed your family from a bribe, or do you be a good guy by the book and detain him? This is an amazing game, and I hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I do. Expand
  2. Sep 13, 2013
    All the fun of a soviet-era bureaucrat!

    I do miss the beta [Image perfectly depicting the text below] messages, but sadly that went and
    what we got was a novel, and very fantastic game. Expand
  3. Mar 28, 2014
    An amazing game! Papers, Please is subtlety complex, yet fairly easy to play with natural learning curve. The game play challenges ones decision making prowess as well as observation skills. At first I wasn't sure about getting this game but once I had played it I was won over by it's game play, depth, and semi-8bit charm. Papers, Please is a game well worth buying. Not giving any spoilers here, you much experience this game. Expand
  4. Aug 12, 2013
    An overall accurately reviewed game. Definitely worth 10$ and worth your time. However it's not for everyone. A niche title through and through that's only fun on play on try number 2 and up. First time is a bombardment of exponentially growing criteria and discrepancies that simply boggle the mind, clutter the desk and get your mother in law killed. Not for those who are afraid of games like Dark Souls where death and failure are constant teachers. It's a fresh, fun, innovative, and unique game that will challenge the memory and patience of those with the mind for it. Bravo for making a fantastic game out of a mostly mundane job! Expand
  5. Dec 7, 2013
    What makes an indie game great is not good game play, or even great graphics. It's a truly unique idea which is exactly what this game is! However what is so good is not the routine of checking passports. It is the thrill from planned moments within the game. People begging to let you in, having to find for yourself from a terrorist attack and meeting common faces. Yet it is all that more satisfying on completion when the credits show and it's just the name "Lucas Pope". The man who made this fantastic game with an insight to communist politics. Expand
  6. Oct 4, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The game has a great and unique concept and I must say I enjoyed the setting (working as a customs official in a totalitarian country) a lot. The presentation is great, the music is also very much fun. The author is obviously a genius. Still I'm not giving it a 10 but only 8 because the game somewhat lacks in actual gameplay. The gameplay is just about matching overwhelmingly large quantities of data, and this is very tiring and leaves you just exhausted and with a headache rather than providing a fun experience. Surely, the author tried hard to keep the small portions of fun coming in: here you get a spy, here an official, here a funny old man. All these small random events kept me engaged for a while. Still, all in all the game starts pretty difficult (and difficult in bad way, meaning that it strains your attention and patience instead of your intelligence). I was more stressed to get all those people's documents checked than reading those fun conversations. The author's goal was to show how bad the USSR was, and he did it very well, and while playing this game I kept having this "oppressed" feeling even though I somewhat enjoyed denying entry to people (at first). Unfortunately, as a game, "Papers, please" is not entertaining. It's a clever piece of art, but not fun enough and with too simplistic mechanic to make a great game. Btw, I took the $1k bribe and a few days later neighbors found out about it and I lost. I didn't understand if this is a random event or it's inevitable. In any case, this was a very annoying ending since I had to play 3 or 4 extra days just to find out that the (unexpected) mistake I made earlier inevitably leads to a failure. Anyways, I think the author tapped on a very interesting topic here. Other games in similar style could follow. Expand
  7. Apr 16, 2014
    Could someone (please) remind the hipsters that the 80s are long gone? This is not a Spectrum 48k game, it shouldn't look like one. This kind of thing keeps on showing up with wonderful reviews, written by people who use admire so much "the classics" even though they (probably) weren't even born when the bloody classics were new... It's just rubbish, treat it as such. Expand

See all 189 User Reviews