Papers, Please Image
Metascore
85

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

User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1029 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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: 17 out of 219
  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
    Papers, Please is an original title that really shows you the meaning of 'indecisive'. The concept at first may sound quite boring, but oncePapers, Please is an original title that really shows you the meaning of 'indecisive'. The concept at first may sound quite boring, but once you get into it, you can't turn back. The immersion is amazing, no matter how pixelated the game is, and really gets to your empathetic side once the big decisions come in. You basically choose whether to be the good border officer, that falls for the sad stories or the bad border officer, that strictly follows the rules. But at the end of the day, you just need to keep your family alive and get through the struggle of being an Arstotzkan citizen. Well done Lucas Pope, well done.

    Glory to Arstotzka.
    Expand
  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 3, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game tests not only your eye for detail, but your morals. With the EZIC group conspiring against the government, you must decide whether or not you will help them and many other people in the game. Is their life worth your job? Expand
  5. Oct 15, 2013
    8
    "Gameplay over graphics". I can't stress how important this quote is. Especially in this game. I'll admit, when I first saw this game, I"Gameplay over graphics". I can't stress how important this quote is. Especially in this game. I'll admit, when I first saw this game, I though "Whaa...?" I mean, lets be honest. A game where all you do is approve or deny people to go through a fictional city named Arstotzka seemed creative but a bit boring. But I risked it and bought it. And I was taken by surprise how invigorating it was! There's a unique storyline you follow through you can do tasks for the mysterious force of EZIC, or continue giving glory to Arstotzka. I admit, this game eventually gets boring and is not something you will spend 800 hours playing. But it's a concept that surprisingly bodes well with retro graphics and will keep you refreshed for a while, but again, the longevity of the game and the re-playability is a problem that is needed to be solved, even with the endless mode you can play after having fun with the storyline. Expand
  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 219 User Reviews