Posted: December 28, 2013
I had no idea what I was getting into with this game. From what I'd heard you just sit at a border checkpoint and decide if people are allowed to enter the country or not. And that's exactly what I got, but Papers, Please is so much more than that. It's not just a job simulation, it's a story of moral choices and corrupt government. It's not just about a border guard, it's about a man who struggles to provide for his family, who must work for the smallest of wages to make some of the toughest choices. You sit in your little checkpoint booth. A man comes up and hands you his passport. You skim over the information and stamp a big green "APPROVED" for him. He thanks you and starts to walk away, but before he does he says, "my wife is right behind me, please be nice to her." Sure enough, up steps a nice young woman. There's her passport. You look down and see an expiration date of last month. "This document is expired" you say. She stares at you, eyes wide and pleading: "Please, if I go back to my country they will kill me. Please let me in." What do you do? Do you risk losing your paycheck and therefore leave yourself unable to buy medicine for your sick son? Or do you abandon all morality and turn the woman away?
Papers, Please is not an easy game, nor is it free of consequences. Not only does it become insanely difficult to reivew piles of papers and make sure every little details is accrate and correct, but every choice you make determines who you are and the path you take. Will you work tirelessly for the glory of Arstotzka, or will you join the Order and be a part of the uprising against the tyrannical, corrupt government?