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Papers, Please

Developer: Lucas Pope Publisher: 3909
08 August 2013
Papers, Please - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.84 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
2,219 Ratings / 7 Reviews
#388 All-time
#11 for 2013
A border inspector in the fictional Eastern European country of Arstotzka is assigned to check for illegal entrants by pointing out discrepancies in their paperwork.
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Um dos jogos mais metódicos de todos os tempos, cujo sucesso em volta da mecânica central depende do quão bom burocrata o jogador é.

O conceito central já tornaria Papers, Please interessante e único, mas a força verdadeira do jogo está nos seus personagens e subtextos que eles apresentam. Há uma profundidade não declarada que só quem conseguiu mergulhar na proposta vai entender.
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gabrielctps 2022-03-10T01:58:49Z
2022-03-10T01:58:49Z
5.0
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Consistently a huge fan of games that have you more passively experience the world around you rather than causing you to be someone who feels inherently above the way the world functions just because of your own role as a protagonist in the narrative. It never feels like you're actually learning anything about the way the setting functions on your own terms, with the story mainly being told through newspaper clippings, the people you talk to, and the ever increasing laundry list of mechanics that you're given. In this sense the game proves itself to be an incredibly effective example of how the pure gameplay itself is able to provide such powerful context to the story going on, with the increasingly large list of conditions you have to keep track of reinforcing the oppressive nature of Arsotzka as you're simply trapped in this hellish position and forced to abide if you want to feed your family.

The constant sense that you're doing something wrong eats away at you as you're practically forced to deny people for what can often feel like rather minor or immoral reasons. This is further elevated once you start paying attention to the mindset the game forces you to fall into, one of constant distrust where you're going out of your way to essentially hunt for anything that could get you to deny people, with moments of satisfaction if you find a discrepancy early especially reinforcing the way that the job you're given here has essentially forced you to stop seeing these characters trying to enter the country as anything resembling people and instead just your ticket to being paid more if you can get through them quickly. At the same time however, it's remarkably interesting to then see the way that despite this, it's also incredibly easy to see so many people regarding this place as a place of hope for new beginnings and being able to escape whatever situation their respective nations had left them in as well. It's handled in such a way that it ends up feeling nowhere near as black and white as you'd expect once you think about it that bit more. It all plays together really nicely and ends up providing a lot of character to a world that's comprised largely of procedurally generated entities which is cool to see.

The gameplay itself is also really well put together, with the act of simply reading and dragging pieces of paper around being a surprisingly entertaining and engaging time when applied the way it has been here. The steady increase of things to keep in mind is paced in such a way that your first playthrough will constantly have you being thrown off balance, always feeling as if you're just about to get a grip on what you need to do before you have another element thrown in to further confuse things, never feeling quite complicated enough to fully make you want to stop playing or anything, just enough for you to literally never feel in your comfort zone. Really the only thing bringing this game down a notch is a certain feeling of tonal inconsistency and predictability in certain regards. The idea of disobeying the higher ups by letting certain people in would be a far more interesting dilemma if the punishment you got for going against protocol was a bit more dynamic. Allowing someone to enter the country and not noticing that one of their documents misspells their name should not be treated equally to confiscating a diplomat's passport for no valid reason, and the fact that these two offenses (along with literally every other one in the bulk of the game) are treated the same strongly cuts back on the nuance that it could have had and ends up feeling very disconnected from the rest of the experience, far closer to an artificial game construct than the more living, breathing setting that the rest of Papers Please takes place in.

I also feel like there are a few too many instances where you do end up contributing to something a bit too large for someone of your character's calibre, which detracts pretty badly from that core feeling of just being another meaningless cog in the wheel that can only make marginal differences on your own. It's definitely not enough to entirely derail the experience but there's enough dissonance there that it can make the atmosphere far murkier than it feels like it was aiming for. Even with these gripes I still really loved my time with Papers Please, and while I'm almost certainly never going to actually try getting all 20 endings that it has, it's also a game that I'll be returning to for another couple of playthroughs at some point for sure.
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Kempokid 2022-10-31T08:48:28Z
2022-10-31T08:48:28Z
4.0
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I had a fun time with this passport control simulation game, and more than once I actually burst out laughing at some of the crazy things people tried to pull on me to get through the checkpoint.

This game is excellent at what aims to do, and especially notable for stretching the borders of what a video game can or should be. I would recommend it for that reason alone, and if you're seriously thinking about giving it a shot, just go for it and don't bother reading the rest of this review.

On the other hand, aside from the experience of the first few hours of play, I wouldn't say it ranks among the most fun games out there. But this feels like maybe not such a valid criticism, since in a way it's the whole point. The paradox of Papers, Please is that the gameplay and story factors that make this game work as an overall experience and an artistic statement are the very same factors that make the game kind of a chore to play and limit its replay value. For example, I could also criticize the game for making such a farce of the passport control process that I hardly ever cared that much about the victims or consequences of my actions. I could complain about the fact that it felt like every decision I made was more arbitrary than based on any sound principles, even though these very decisions had often drastic and even game-ending consequences. But again, I think these complaints just underscore the overall message the game is trying to send. Even the limiting controls of this game (which can be ever-so-slightly augmented, at a cost) and the cramped desk space to the review documents and miscellaneous garbage handed to me by incoming immigrants, felt like more of an intentional handicap than a mistake by the developers.

With all that in consideration, I did appreciate Papers, Please for what it brings to the world of gaming. It's not the most fun game out there, but I don't see how they could have made it any more playable without ruining what was good about it. And it certainly gave me some good laughs, which is something we could all use more of.
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mikeyg263 2020-09-26T05:04:11Z
2020-09-26T05:04:11Z
4.0
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Indie games often come up with interesting ideas, and sometimes the fact that it is different attracts a lot of attention and praise. Then, when you play it, you wonder what the fuss is about.

A game where you take the job at border control sure sounds rubbish, but to my surprise, this game is actually entertaining and surprisingly addictive. So I'll jump on board the band-wagon and praise the game too.

In the top half of the screen, you see the queue of people and your general surroundings; guards are patrolling, cars are passing by. The bottom part of the screen is your desk. To the left, you have the counter where people will hand their documents and your reference guides are stored. On the right hand side is your desk, where you can place any document to analyse it.

At the start of each day, you are given instructions to what the rules are for the day. You must make sure people have the correct documents, are valid, and adhere to any restriction imposed. You must then stamp their passport with the Approval or Denied stamp.

Initially, the rules are as simple as making sure the Issuing City on the passport matches the valid list in your reference guide. Later on you are checking everything on the passport. Does their picture match? Is the passport in date? Are they the correct gender? As you progress, people are required to have more documentation, so you must check the validity of this document and cross-reference to the passport for any other inconsistencies. Citizens of Arstotzka will be required to have different documentation to immigrants from any other country. Citizens produce an ID card which shows their height and weight. Finding a difference in weight can mean the citizen is attempting to smuggle contraband, so must be scanned.

If you find something that is suspect, you click the Inspection Mode button and click the two conflicting pieces of information. Sometimes the person may give you the missing document, or try and protest their innocence. If it is as simple as the passport expiring, you will just give them the Denied stamp and move on. If its more serious, then you will click the Detain button for the guards to come grab them.

You need to make your decision fairly promptly because the day is timed, and the more you process, the more you get paid. However, if you incorrectly allow people in, you are warned, or fined when making several mistakes.

At the end of each day, you choose what to spend your money on. You need to pay your rent, and the rest of the money goes on food, heat, or medicine to keep your family healthy. If all your family dies, then it is game-over. Your family's well-being may determine the end sequence that you get.

There are 20 different endings to find which depends on key events throughout the story. The game saves before the start of each day so you can revisit a day and change your choice.

It feels a lot like work and shouldn't be fun, but somehow is. Sometimes you do feel guilty denying people, especially when they are telling you their situation. It's up to you whether to accept someone's bribe (or just take it but deny them anyway!), or detain them.

It may be a glorified spot-the-difference game, but it's made in such an interesting and engaging way, you just can't help but love it.
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CaptainClam 2019-10-05T15:12:44Z
2019-10-05T15:12:44Z
4.0
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A game that does get pretty repetitive, but at the same time tests your observation skills. Its one of those games where you need to memorize a lot and match documents and it almost feels like the kind of tedious and boring job that would exist in real life. In between the days you'll get paid and if you suck at your job you can't pay the bills and your family ends up dying. Its a game that really has no end goal, its just about checking documents and making sure you let the right people in. It is extremely repetitive and its easy to miss little details to mess things up, but it is a unique game that can be played in short bursts. Yeah this might have a greater reputation than its made out to be, but its a solid enough time killer.
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jweber14 2017-07-21T21:58:26Z
2017-07-21T21:58:26Z
3.5
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Possibly the best example of a game that's both incredibly good but not remotely fun.
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Ortheore 2017-08-15T11:38:32Z
2017-08-15T11:38:32Z
4.0
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Catalog

ThatDomino Papers, Please 2024-03-02T01:31:02Z
2024-03-02T01:31:02Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
netbol Papers, Please 2024-03-01T23:39:46Z
2024-03-01T23:39:46Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
anms3 Papers, Please 2024-02-29T16:22:52Z
2024-02-29T16:22:52Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
acdcmetallica Papers, Please 2024-02-28T06:55:24Z
2024-02-28T06:55:24Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
djdrisc22 Papers, Please 2024-02-27T22:57:12Z
2024-02-27T22:57:12Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Kapitan_Pazur Papers, Please 2024-02-26T15:50:11Z
Windows / Mac / Linux/Unix
2024-02-26T15:50:11Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
JJ155 Papers, Please 2024-02-25T03:47:53Z
2024-02-25T03:47:53Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Brett11102 Papers, Please 2024-02-23T18:35:04Z
2024-02-23T18:35:04Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
riguyisfly Papers, Please 2024-02-21T20:17:13Z
Windows / Mac / Linux/Unix
2024-02-21T20:17:13Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LucaMFraietta Papers, Please 2024-02-21T04:24:45Z
2024-02-21T04:24:45Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
droppod40 Papers, Please 2024-02-20T12:11:45Z
2024-02-20T12:11:45Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
raiskolnikov Papers, Please 2024-02-19T13:37:35Z
2024-02-19T13:37:35Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (19) Loading...
  • Miry 2023-06-14 21:26:24.134765+00
    hide Removed by mod
    This post was removed by a site moderator for the following reasons:
    • Uncivil or disrespectful comments toward other members or artists
    Breaking community rules will result in site bans and eventual permanent account suspension.
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  • Miry 2023-06-14 21:32:20.081898+00
    hide Removed by mod
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  • TheRealJimMorrison 2023-06-22 23:21:40.873695+00
    Silly Pegarange smh
    reply
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  • to_noid_or_not_to_noid 2023-08-09 17:47:41.130076+00
    Happy 10th, all-timer!
    reply
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  • direct_ 2023-11-14 18:11:10.748536+00
    Wow 10 whole years. Outstanding.
    reply
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  • Regal_Throes 2023-12-29 05:16:56.561367+00
    This is the only good indie game.
    reply
    • TheRealJimMorrison 2024-01-17 15:30:36.269276+00
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