Ever wanted to be the overly strict immigration officer denying entry to a Dystopian police state? Papers, Please gives you that chance.
Papers, Please puts you in the shoes of an immigration officer deciding the fate of citizens trying to enter the communist state of Arstotzka from neighboring border city Grestin. It's a very thinly veiled nod to the iconic East/West Berlin situation following World War II, but twisting things up by letting you play as "the villain." If you've always wanted to control the flow of illegal immigrants, you can download a free beta from developer Lucas Pope, who promises a full release sometime this summer.
The game is presented like one of those 90's era 16-bit PC adventure games, with a very "Soviet" vibe. As immigration officer, you will have to carefully monitor every immigrant's documents and only allow those with valid papers through the border. If you spot a discrepancy, you can interrogate them and deny entry. If you mess up and and let too many illegals through the border, you'll get a penalty to your paycheck.
As you play the game, you'll learn that the player character isn't such a villain after all. He is only being so harsh and strict at the border so he doesn't suffer pay penalties, as he needs every bit of his pittance of a salary to feed and care for his extended family. It's a delicate balance of being thorough enough to not let any undesirables through, while still being quick enough to process enough immigrants (and therefore, get a bigger payout) by the end of the day.
Among the throngs of immigrants and visitors looking for work are hidden smugglers, spies, and terrorists, which can really disrupt your work day.
It's a fun little simulator that is presented beautifully and works really well, and it should only get better as the game reaches its official release. A little game in of itself on the Papers, Please website reveals that the game will cost $10 at launch.
Source: Papers, Please