What started out as just a little something to pass the time after I finished up Myth: The Fallen Lords has quickly turned into a stressful full play for the ages. Let me tell you a little bit about Papers, Please.
This game is magnificent, daring, and more than a little gross. You play an immigration agent on the border of some unidentified country, but feels like Eastern European / Russian. Your job, is to check everyone’s passports and other forms of identification, and verify that they are allowed to enter the great country of Arstotzka. The rules for entry change each and every day, and the story takes place over one full month.
As the rules change, so do the people who are seeking to enter Arstotzka. You may find that a husband has all the proper paperwork and is allowed entry, but immediately following him is his wife who is missing a key part of identification. Will you let her in, keep her with the love of her life, or will you deny her and sentence her to death in her current country? These are the crazy decisions that you must make while playing Papers, Please.
For every person that you process, you are give $5 or whatever currency Arstotzka has. At the end of each day you need to pay for rent, food and heat for your family. Fail to process enough people, or do your job poorly enough where they need to dock your pay, and your family may find themselves cold, sick, or possibly even dead. So many people are relying on you, so you need to be fast, accurate, and possibly open to bribes to make things work.
This is a magnificent game, one of the best of 2013, and I hope more people start playing it!