Papers, Please (2013) is a narrative puzzle game where you play the role of a border-crossing immigration officer in the fictional dystopian Eastern Bloc-like country of Arstotzka. You review each immigrant’s and returning citizen’s passports and paperwork according to an increasing list of changing rules stemming from a volatile political landscape. Each person, whether legitimate or not, has a story about their journey and the personal impact of not being let in. Your choices not only impact the citizens but your own standing and money for your family. You must also decide whether to uphold the government or work with organisations to establish a new one. You play for 31 days and depending on your decisions there are 20 different endings. These decisions are powerful because of the real stories they tell. There’s the jeopardy of acting morally but at risk and cost to your own job and impoverished family. Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Papers, Please 4 years ago. It was re-examined by Jonah Monaghan and updated 6 months ago.
Play Time: This game will take between 5 hours and 9 hours to complete. You can complete the main story in about 8 hours. To see all the endings will take considerably longer, with multiple play-throughs.
Rated PEGI 16 for use of sexual expletives. This game contains infrequent use of sexual expletives, the word “*!@?*” can be found in the dialogue. This game features infrequent depictions of non-realistic looking violence towards human-like characters. Characters are shot, blown up and run over in this game. However, all the violence is shown from very far away with figures being shown as silhouettes, some mild blood effects are shown.
12+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. Although younger players can cope with the mechanics of the game, to understand the narrative and make decisions based on morals can require more maturity.
Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.