Papers, Please has the player take the role of a border crossing immigration officer in the fictional dystopian Eastern Bloc-like country of Arstotzka, who has been and continues to be at political hostilities with its neighboring countries.
As the officer, the player must review each immigrant and returning citizen’s passports and other supporting paperwork against a list of ever-increasing rules using a number of tools and guides, allowing in only those with the proper paperwork, rejecting those without all proper forms, and at times detaining those with falsified information.
The player is rewarded in their daily salary for how many people they have processed correctly in that day, while being fined for making mistakes; the salary is used to help provide shelter, food, and health for the player’s in-game family.
In some cases, the player will be presented with moral decisions, such as approving entry of a pleading spouse of a citizen despite the lack of proper paperwork, knowing this will affect their salary.
In addition to a story mode which follows several scripted events that occur within Arstotzka, the game includes an endless mode that challenges the player to process as many immigrants as possible.
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(Cost $9.99 USD)