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Papers, Please Image
Metascore
85

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

User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 905 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
    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: 13 out of 199
  1. 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 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 16, 2013
    10
    Have you ever wanted to work puncher passports? Think it is very boring and not interesting job? In principle, yes but if you still want to try what it's like to manage other people's lives as if God is to count the thousands of documents in search of the slightest error? Believe me it's very interesting!
    We proved this man with the nickname 3909! It is so accurate puncher displayed the work that creates a feeling as if he had it worked! Stunning meticulousness. Imagine this exciting picture: You're looking at documents of another immigrants, try to do it quickly, because at home you will find a sick son of a terrible disease, and the more documents you check the more money you earn, but only because of the fact that the person whom you do not have the right to put (a flaw in the documents) begs you to let him offer more money, but maybe you will calculate and take away jobs because of taking bribes, but need money for treatment! And here you are torn. That in such moments you realize what's special about this very unusual game. An unforgettable story of a nameless puncher
    Expand
  3. Jun 23, 2014
    10
    Incredibly good game, one of the more recent games that have actually been worth the money in terms of time invested and entertainment value. Unfortunately, i'm extremely bad at selling the concept of this game to my friends. Must make them play it. Expand
  4. Aug 12, 2013
    9
    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 14, 2013
    9
    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
    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 12, 2014
    0
    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 199 User Reviews