Sunday, June 22, 2014

Screenshot of the Day: Papers, Please

Glory to Arstotzka.

Papers, Please is a job simulator of sorts; players serve as an immigration officer in a fictional communist Eastern European country. Hopefuls come to your window and submit their documents, which you then check for discrepancies or expired validities. You're under pressure to work fast, as processing more people results in a bigger paycheck, but with too many mistakes, you're heavily fined. The pay isn't nearly enough to support your fictional family, though, and more than once I found myself forced to choose between buying medicine for my sick uncle and buying food for my wife and son.

Papers, Please is surprisingly compelling, and the moral choices involved (help a fugitive, or heat house during winter?) make it more emotionally engaging than a paperwork simulator ought to be. At this point, I'm afraid I have to admit that indie games can be really good.

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