Social Commentary Via Game – Papers, Please

Genre:  Hidden Object
Platform:  PC

It’s election day here in the US, and things are looking grim.  As a bit of social commentary, I’d like to share a fun game which I feel is appropriate for my mood.  In Papers, Please you play as a lowly checkpoint worker for your government, the country of Arstotzka, reminiscent of iron-curtain Europe or the USSR.  Your job is to inspect the paperwork of people that want to enter your country.  Your life depends upon your performance.  The more people you process, the more money you make, which means your family can afford to eat for another day.  You’re screwed if anyone gets sick, and you’ll really start to feel the pressure as you watch your wife or children slowly starving to death.

This game really does bring about some ethical dilemmas for which there are no clear cut answers.  Do you help the secret underground or the lady that is just trying to see her daughter?  Or do you stick tight to your duty and deny all without proper documentation?

I call this game a hidden object game as I’m not sure how else to classify it.  You have an instruction booklet to refer to.  The documentation gets more and more complicated as you play.  You have to have a really sharp eye to be good at this game, thus the hidden object aspect.  Eventually, you’ll get to start body scanning for hidden weapons.  I made it through an entire month of the game at one point and that was really tough.

This game is very unique and a lot of fun.  It can feel a bit heavy if you let yourself get wrapped up in the story, which I did.  Check this one out!

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