Wolf’s Wicked Words: Papers, Please, Dear Contraband-Carrying Communist
I am standing in a line awaiting my turn. Soft rain trickles on my fatigued shoulders – sliding down the thick raincoat I am wearing and forming a puddle by my aching feet. Time trickles away not unlike the rain; this becomes all the more apparent when gazing up at the large clock next to the border checkpoint. Different variations of coughs can be heard all around me as the line moves in a S-like shape. Will I be helped in time and finally put an end to this pain I feel coming from my weary legs? Just a few minutes of sitting down on the nearest piece of rubble once I’ve been cleared and then I’m swiftly off to work in this dismal country that houses a colour-stricken plethora of buildings and a dreary atmosphere that can be felt no matter where my feet may take me. Alas, one thing at a time; I need to get past this checkpoint and over the monumental hurdle it symbolises. Let us hope all my paperwork are in order and that the checkpoint inspector’s mood is not one of a sour nature. I want to be rid or this filthy line-like Hell.
Papers, Please struck me with a hefty amount of surprise and unknowable excitement.
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I’ve always liked indie games, even though my exposure to them isn’t as varied as I would prefer. This game completely slipped my radar and I’m ashamed to say that after enjoying it so much in the past week. You see, the first time I heard about its existence was in last week’s Zero Punctuation and sacred flux, am I glad I found out about it.
My time for playing games has been sadly declining as the year progressed under the weight of assignments, work and general scorching everyday duties. However, with Papers, Please I never had to play in prolonged sessions to find it incredibly captivating and I’m just going to say it; astonishingly addictive.
Your duty as a checkpoint investigator is to check the passports and the increasing number of paperwork presented by the citizens and foreigners. Everyday adds something new to the mix and you’re forced to be swift and efficient, while avoiding the sound of an agonizing printer solely responsible for the purpose of printing your missteps. Making mistakes is something to be avoided at all costs, because in the end, you’ll either find yourself without a occupation or indeed – family. Your income goes directly to rent, food, heat and the occasional extra expenses that adds to the urgency of eagerly processing enough people in any given day without the liberty of making mistakes.
Making mistakes however, aren’t as obvious as one might think. You’ll be confident that this one specific individual is without a doubt clear to go through, but lo and behold, you missed something. It usually is something so trivial, but it was indeed that one thing you looked over.
It is a game that constantly forces you to pay attention and use your maximum consciousness while maintaining a hefty pace. You might think by this time point in time that this sounds more like work than an actual game and while that may be evident from afar – I assure you it is still a ton of fun.
The constant adaptations your current rules are given and morally questionable situations you go through is what makes this one a completely unique experience. I commend Lucas Pope for single-handedly creating a truly thought-provoking experience.
It is difficult to capture in words what exactly makes this one original, so I urge you to try it out and see for yourself.
You’ll thank me later.