Papers, Please Image
Metascore
85

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

User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1009 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 ofThe 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
    100
    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
    90
    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
    90
    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
    85
    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
    80
    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
    80
    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: 16 out of 217
  1. Sep 28, 2013
    10
    I have played hours and hours of this game, It makes you think, it makes you CARE about your family and really brings to life the world thatI have played hours and hours of this game, It makes you think, it makes you CARE about your family and really brings to life the world that you live in, it can at times feel like "work" but even as such it feels fun because you don't want to 'disappoint" your family when people start getting sick and you have to chose between giving people meds and giving them heat and food. the choices become all too real, masterpiece! Expand
  2. Sep 15, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This here has to be one of the greatest indie games I have come across in my life.

    I love how in this game tells us about the communist country we have to 'Glorify' and support it by working as the border control. We have to investigate the people who attempt to pass into our country, catch criminals on the run, secretly work with the revolutionary group, and collect income to provide for our own family. The best part is, we have to do all of this at a simply desk job!

    What I love best is have the game mechanics tells us that it is hard to do the kind things for people, as it would put you and your family at risk. I remember this one moment (P.S. SPOILER AHEAD!) when I allowed a man in, but he asked if I could allow his wife in as well, who did not have the right paperwork to enter. She begged me to let her in, otherwise she would be killed when she returns to her own country. But if I were to allow her in, I would not be my income rate to pay for rent, food and heat so that my family would survive. The game pressured me to do my job correctly or I would fail.

    In conclusion, this thrilling documentary game has given me a lot to think about when it comes to moral choices, as I think it really can bring out the true sides of your character without telling me if I did the right thing. This game is a real masterpiece and I think everyone should pick it up!
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  3. Aug 8, 2013
    10
    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 manyThis 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
  4. Jan 14, 2014
    9
    Paper's Please is a refreshing experience, unlike anything I've tried before. Although the game play gets tedious quickly, it's an uniquePaper's Please is a refreshing experience, unlike anything I've tried before. Although the game play gets tedious quickly, it's an unique concept, it throws out a lot of interesting mind-games at you and it's done incredibly well. Definitely one of the best games of 2013, I really hope to see more from these developers. Expand
  5. Oct 17, 2013
    8
    I didn't expect much from a game with the concept of marking passports. But this offers unique story, CHARACTERS (Yes, a passport game withI didn't expect much from a game with the concept of marking passports. But this offers unique story, CHARACTERS (Yes, a passport game with CHARACTERS. Amazing!), and gives you choices that affect the game.

    Whats not to love? Characters bribing you and illegal yet emotionally effecting or those who pay you higher than your actual paycheck will bring challenge into the game. It may be called "retro", but its old-school and something you can always go back to. Even though it does get repetitive, boredom is at a respected minimum thanks to the story. A strong, good story, which blew me away. The realism doesn't get ridiculous and just gets challenging and more and more lovable. Entry or deny; you feel like making a huge decision with just stamping one passport late into the game, with a great ending(s), depending on what YOU chose to do. It gives you so much choice and power. For the cheap price and upcoming fun for new players, go and buy it. You won't regret.
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  6. Oct 4, 2013
    8
    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
    0
    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 kindCould 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 217 User Reviews