Papers, Please (2013)

Better check those documents.




Papers, Please is aptly summed up by its marketing tagline: "A dystopian document thriller". Everything that can go wrong will go wrong in this 'simulation' of being a border crossing agent in the clearly-Soviet-in-all-but-name Arstotzka.

Morality and shades of gray are front in center in this puzzle game, but transparency of choice is not; what you do may make be ethical but its outcomes vary wildly in the face of a political system so obfuscated as to be completely labyrinthine. Papers, Please does more to simulate the atmosphere of Soviet politik than even a good read of Solzhenitsyn, but that isn't just why it's popular: it's also a darn strong puzzle game.

Relevant links!

Relevant games!

  • The Westport Incident by Double Zero One Zero (the newspaper version of Papers, Please

  • The Tomorrow Children by Q-Games

  • Calm Down, Stalin by Cartboard Games (no, not Cardboard Computer)

  • This War of Mine by 11 bit studios

  • Ekranoplans, by Russia Itself, GiantBomb'd here

  • The entire Metro series by 4A

The theme this week is "Duck Wings Going Down in Smoke and Flames" by Duck Boy, a free album download from off of his new album Unknown Command. Also from chipmusic, the WILL'S GAMING MINUTE(tm) theme is, fittingly, "Wienerhype" by jaar.


Brian Pachucki

Megan Paulson

Nate Stevens

Pauly Kroll

Will Atkinson