Sunday, 27 October 2013
Indie Gaming: Papers Please
The colours are muted, full of browns and grey. Most people look glum and tired, desperate to enter. You accept or deny them based on a sea of bureaucracy, all confined to your small desk. As the game progresses your booth gains extra equipment, including a body scanner. You must do your job to feed your family, but make too many mistakes (deliberately or otherwise) and you will be heavily fined.
Significant choices are thrown at you each day. Should you help a couple stay together, even though one of their documents is invalid? Should you detain more people and take a kickback from the guards, or should you just deny them and let them go on their way? All the while you are being monitored by your superiors, and you have to choose whether to take part in a rebellious conspiracy.
The work is just as dull as I imagine a real border office to be, but you are on a very short clock and the queue is endless. The more people you process the better off you will be, but I always found myself being just a little bit too hasty and letting through far too many mistakes.
There are twenty different endings, and so far I think I've seen three or four. Getting a "good" ending seems to be immensely difficult, the ones I've seen so far have been a little bleak. My ability to scan through passports and documents has become a lot better though, so perhaps next time I'll get the ending I seek.