Papers, Please

aka: Papers, Please - A Dystopian Document Thriller
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Description official description

Papers Please is a simulation game based on the life of a immigration inspector charged with checking passports at the border of a fictional communist state, Arztoska. The game is set after the conclusion of a six year war with neighboring Kolechia, the war has moved the combatants boarded and left the city of Greznin split. Kolechia controls the west and Arztoska the east. The game begins with the player being selected for border duty in Arztoska's monthly labor lottery. He (the player character is unnamed) and his family are relocated to the city of Greznin.

Gameplay takes the form of checking the documents of people wishing to cross the border. Initially this is a task of making sure that no documents are expired or that cities and countries where the documents come from are real. However, as events such as the deterioration of relations with neighboring powers and terrorist attacks on the border, take place the D.O.I. (Department of Immigration) require documents to become more complicated. The player will have to juggle checking, crosschecking and rechecking supplemental IDs, work permits, vaccination records, and more. Complications can include anything from simple misspellings to changing heights, or circumstances that require strip searches.

In addition to simply deciding based on the information in the documents the player will be offered bribes, be pleaded with, and be threatened. Moral choice may come to play a role in who the player allows of denies. The player is rewarded for each applicant processed with a bonus on his paycheck at the end of the day. Applicants who are allowed to enter while their documents were not in order, or one sent away when they were clear for entry will result in a warning. The paycheck of the immigration inspector is penalized for every mistake past two in a day.

At the end of the day the immigration inspector returns home and must use his meager salary to cover the expenses, of heat, food, and medicine for his family. Keeping the family alive becomes an important aspect of the game as it will end should all members die. Arztoska requires public servants to have large families, a sign of patriotism.

Many of the characters that the player interacts with are randomly generated, but a number of characters will have specific story arcs. One such arc is that of The Order of the EZIC Star, a group bent on regime change. The Order will send a hooded messenger to give the immigration inspector commands about how to admit their agents into Arztoska or may even ask him to kill.

There are a little over thirty ingame days and twenty endings. The immigration inspector may end up imprisoned, a loyal member of the bureaucracy, murdered, executed and more.

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Credits (Windows version)

111 People (104 developers, 7 thanks) · View all

Special Thanks
Developed with
  • Haxe/NME
  • Haxe/OpenFL
Italian Localization - Team GLOC
Sound Effects Sourced from freesound
[ full credits ]



Average score: 85% (based on 53 ratings)


Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 28 ratings with 0 reviews)

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Subject By Date
Stripper card Indra was here (20635) Feb 13th, 2014
Why the A.I. rating? chirinea (47013) Jan 30th, 2014

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Opipeuter.

PS Vita added by mars_rulez. Linux added by OrcishGrunt. Android, iPhone added by Sciere. iPad added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: chirinea, Kennyannydenny.

Game added January 13th, 2014. Last modified August 27th, 2023.