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GOL Cast: Bureaucracy At Arstozkan Borders in Papers, Please

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Sometimes it would be awesome if you were given a job based on a lottery like in Arstozka, but putting me in a position of an immigration inspector might not be a great idea. Oh well, let's just do what the state says. Glory to Arstozka!

Papers, Please from indie developer Lucas Pope is a dystopian border control simulator set into a dystopian country of Arstozka. You work as an immigration inspector at the Grestin checkpoint and your job is to keep people with expired or forged papers out, while letting people with legitimate papers in. To do this you must keep track of the changing set of rules and regulations and check every little detail from expiration dates to issuing cities and even photographs.

The job is difficult and you are paid by the people you've checked, which means that time is of the essence. And if you fail to check the papers properly or you deny a legitimate immigrant, you will be issued a warning and too many failures will result in a penalty, which is directly fined from your pay. If you don't make enough money, you cannot afford heating, medicine or food and the conditions of your family will worsen.

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Papers, Please is really unique. I've seen games ranging anywhere between slaughtering aliens and drinking soda, but I've never seen a game about checking passports. At first it might sound dull and boring, but Papers, Please immerses you in its setting so well that you seriously try to do your best for your virtual family. The gameplay mechanics work well, even though the discrepancy inspection system is a bit clumsy at times.

The graphics are obviously not meant to be realistic at all, but they suit the game's mood well. You don't see too many bright colours and everything seems depressing, which works nicely to enhance the immersion of the setting.

Overall, I like this game. I am prone to overlook small details and forget things, so it's quite difficult for me and I fail at it a lot, but failing is part of the fun.

Papers, Please on the Humble Store:

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About the author -
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I'm a Linux gamer from Finland. I like reading, long walks on the beach, dying repeatedly in roguelikes and ripping and tearing in FPS games. I also sometimes write code and sometimes that includes hobbyist game development.
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