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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 847 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: 11 out of 186
  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
    You wouldn't think that a game with such a simple idea could be so good and so deep. Once you start playing though it actually has a way of pulling you in to the story and the consequences for you decisions. The game starts off easy enough, don't let this fool you though, as the game progresses there is a lot to take into consideration before letting someone though. You are paid on a per person basis and this forces you to try and balance getting the people through as fast as you can while trying to not let anything bad slip though. The game is semi-forgiving and you are allowed two mess ups a day, this sounds like plenty but you'd be surprised how many things will slip right past you. Right now you can get it on Steam for only $9.99 and for all the fun that the game provides that is a very low price. Expand
  5. Dec 14, 2013
    This game was a really fun indie work game,my favorite, because of the nice story,sound effects in full version, and the overall 16 bit graphics. This game got repetitive and it got harder as I progressed in the game. I thought the game got boring, but then I realized that the game was doing this on purpose. This game gets a 9 because of the fact that the time is fast and does not give you enough time to probe over every little thing your supposed to, also the fact that your desk gets cluttered with all the paper work. Still this game did this on purpose I suppose but, I don't like that way of things when playing a good game like Papers, please. Thanks Lucas Pope. 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 12, 2014
    I have a hard time understanding why gamers want stuff like this? I grew up using an IBM 486, and the graphics then were better than this, that was in the 80's. Honestly, pattern recognition and some basic choices of whether to be a traitor or not, and that sums it all up. 85/100 for this? It's time for me to find a new hobby I think. Expand

See all 186 User Reviews