Papers, Please is a bizarre puzzle game. The game is in its very own league, and it’s hard to describe what kind of game it really is. However, one thing for sure, the game is fun and addicting, and it trains you to be a person who pays attention to details.
The game takes place in the fictional country of Arstotzka, a dystopian country that recently opens its border, and you play as the newly assigned border control officer. The gameplay is simple and your job is to look through the documents and passports of everyone who tries to enter the country. Let people in if everything seems legit, and reject everyone who has doctored documents. It sounds simple enough, but as the game progresses, more and more documents are required to enter Arstozka, and sometime additional screening of suspicious characters are required too. Not to mention, some travelers have bizarre request for you from time to time too, and it can quickly amp up the game’s difficulty.
It’s never easy going through every travelers’ documents. There are many details you have to pay attention to, and you will never know when you will receive fake documents. Obvious things such as expiration date, different faces and missing documents are easy, but small details such as passport issued city or doctored seals can also be easily overlooked as well. The best way to play this game is to have a system, and check every single detail in the same order every time. Then again, the game is timed too, so you can’t really spend too much time going through the documents either.
The game also gives you moral dilemma from time to time too. It can be travelers asking for special favor, as they’re missing important documents to be reunited with love ones not seen for years, or it can be some secret organization enlisting your help to overthrow Arstozka. To help or not to hep is your decision, but just remember if you do help, it might result in penalty that cost your family’s life. Then again, if you don’t help, the game will make sure you feel guilty about it.
The game also has multiple endings. What? I know, it’s surprising a game like this has an ending at all, not to mention multiple ones too. Every decision you made during the game- helping others, not helping others, feeding your family, not feeding your family, fleeing the country, rebelling against Arstotzka… etc, can all influence the outcome of the game. All the endings are interesting in its own way, but only one “true” ending will give you the code to unlock “Endless Mode,” where you can process individual travelers without the restriction of the plot.
The game is a big improvement on the iPad. It allows you to be more organized than the desktop version, and it’s easier to move things around too. I always have difficulties moving the mouse cursor around in the PC version, and the iPad version solve the issue. Another problem I have with the PC version is unable to move the taser gun fast enough to stop the trespasser, and I don’t have that problem anymore either. The game plays smoothly on iPad, and everything is an improvement from the PC version.
Paper, Please is a great game that provides some unique experiences. The gameplay is outstanding, and the story is surprisingly a hit too. It will have you playing for hours and hours. Not to mention, the iPad version is an improvement from the PC version, and it’s definitely worth your time just to check it out.