Must-not-miss indie game: 《Papers, Please》

Mr. Qoo
Contributed BY QooApp user ICE. What do you long for while playing a RPG? Gorgeous pictures? Amazing characters? Or an unexpected plot? At the year of 2013, a classic indie game (simulation RPG) has been created by Lucas Pope, namely 《Papers,Please》. It was an unique and successful indie, merging gaming and the serious historical topic.

image08Source:《Papers, Please》Official Website

image07Source:《Papers, Please》Official Website

Many notable medias could not resist to reward it as the best indie game for 2013, not only because of its graphics ,or game mechanics, but the meanings inside. What does《Papers,Please》sound like? ”Papers”, the main thing of this game, meaning the documents presented to the immigration officer...and yes, you are the officer. You “won” this post from the government, she arranged you to the border of Arstotzka (East Grestin). Under the age of Cold War*, 1982, a tiny officer like you, must feed your family by chopping stamps every single day. * Cold War: Political wrangling between USA and USSR from 1947 to 1991.

image03Source: 《Papers, Please》Official Website

The world at that time was complicated, but your job is simple, you are an immigration officer who needs to check the “papers” presented by immigrants from countries nearby, determining if they can pass the border and enter Arstotzka. Due to the chaotic political policy, you are responsible for more and more identity documents from time to time. image090909 Inside the boredom of being a officer You are sitting in the station from 6 to 6 everyday, the immigration counter may be limited but there are many devices that you can manipulate. image000500 As at later stages, you can unlock the guns, you can detain people who are holding fake passports because you will encounter situations like smuggling, terrorists attack and even revolutions. But you are not just sitting there and cross your hands, as there are 20 possible endings depending on your choices. After all, you will know that it is the choice you made that destroys you. The historical symbols underlying image0222 Although the whole game was created under dim-colored pixel graphics, but the political colors will never bored you. If you have good memory in world history, you must have noticed something from the graphics in 《Papers,Please》. The emblem of those imaginary countries implied the strong nations we knew. From the red eagle and the name of Arstotzka, in my mind it alluded to the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Arstotzka was a totalitarian and communist country, that’s why there are so many regulations and protesters. image04 Other countries like Impor, which I thought that implies Japan; United Federation, which I guessed it meant UK, were showing different attitudes from the news you can read everyday. Why is《Papers,Please》classic? As for game mechanics, it may not be the most creative one. The impressing point of it is to merge political / historical elements into a playable game. The rich political content opened the minds of the players, and arose many discussion topics among themselves. Besides the political stuff, if we review it simply in the plot, there are numerous choices that can affect your ending, which I think it makes a good RPG. And there was an ending I love, is that even you helped EZIC to achieve missions they wanted, didn’t turn out to strike the road to real revolution. That makes people think what is actually the “right thing to do”. Final Words: About the author Lucas Pope is a game production genius, the entire piece of 《Papers,Please》was created by himself (including art, music and coding!). If you are interested at similar games, you can approach to Unsolicited and The Republia Times. Unsolicited was created in a 48-hours Global Game Jam by himself. Both of the short games penetrates the mood of political, by putting players into the shoes of a spam mail staff and news editor. Lucas Pope’s games: LINK Papers,Please on Steam: LINK Papers,Please on iPad mr_qooContribution is welcome! Please email your articles to us: