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Platform Win, Mac Publisher N/A Developer Lucas Pope Release Date 2013-08-08

Review

Review
53 Comments
8.0

Papers, Please Review: Mundane tyranny

I've asked so many times I hear it in my sleep. Another haggard, hopeful face hangs in front of my window, my tenth of the day. She slides her passport, her access permit, her polio vaccination through the window and then tedium begins. I've done what comes next so many times, it's practically instinctual at this point. I check her height, her weight, her gender, cross-referencing each field against all the documents. Finally I uncover what I'm looking for: A small discrepancy in the spelling of her name. She assures me it's a typo, begs me to let her through the border checkpoint. She's wasting her breath. I consider sending her away, but the documents could be falsified. That's a crime, and I've got a partner who gives me a kickback for every would-be immigrant that I...

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Ferguson media coverage inspires game about modern journalism

Since Michael Brown was shot dead by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson on Aug, 9, sparking riots and protests, some media coverage of the event has been slanted according to prejudice or the political leanings of attending outlets. Criticism has been leveled at sections of the media for focusing on petty crimes seemingly committed by Brown, an African American teenager who was unarmed when he was fatally shot in the street. The controversy over how media portrays minorities in the United States is soon to become the focus of a video game. In an interview with Kill Screen, developer Nicky Case talked about his unnamed game, which is about how stories are framed. Case showed how players of the game watch a situation in which police officers are engaged with members of the...

Opinion
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Disgracefully, the Bomb Gaza maker hits out at 'haters' over his horrible game

Bomb Gaza is a horrible example, showing the people of Gaza not merely as cannon fodder, but as jokey little cartoons. They wait on the roofs of their homes, for the bombs to come, for their homes to be destroyed, for their lives to be taken. The Android game was pulled from Google Play, following complaints on social media. The characters in the game, the targets, are either black-clad villains who are there to be killed. Or they are white-clad civilians, including children, whose deaths will fill up a rage-meter, signifying international outrage at the war. There is no way to play the game without killing civilians. Bomb Gaza is a cynical and stupid depiction of the war. It is an idiotic attempt to celebrate the suffering of thousands of people. Even while children lay dying, even...

News
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Why the creator of Papers, Please is leaving the game behind for a journey in black and white

It's difficult to talk about Lucas Pope's newest game Return of the Obra Dinn without bringing up his previous title Papers, Please the acclaimed "dystopian document thriller" that swept the 2014 Independent Games Festival Awards earlier this year. But for Pope, his energy for the title is all since spent. It's time for new adventures. "People are constantly asking for a sequel to Papers, Please," Pope told Polygon. "People think I can make a game like this out of any kind of gate out there. Make one using TSA checking, or a bouncer at a club. But I've lost interest in Papers, Please. There's no fire there anymore. I couldn't make a sequel because my brain is not able to focus on that kind of project, at least right now." Even though work on Obra Dinn is under way, Pope is still...

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The next game from the creator of Papers, Please pays tribute to old-school Mac gaming

Lucas Pope will follow up his highly acclaimed indie hit Papers, Please with a game drawing on the 1-bit graphical style of games released for the Apple Macintosh when it was brand new. Pope's next game, announced yesterday on The Independent Gaming Source forums, will be called Return of the Obra Dinn. It's the fictional story of a merchant ship lost at sea in 1802. It shows up six years later, drifting into port with no one aboard. The game unfolds from the perspective of an insurance adjustor for the East India Company, who is tasked with boarding the ship and recovering its captain's log to complete an investigation. "I'm hoping to capture a compelling mystery with suspense and twists in the limited space of an old merchant sailing ship," Pope wrote. "It won't be the typical...

News
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Games for Change Awards go to Papers, Please, Gone Home and The Mission US

Papers, Please and Gone Home took home awards at the 11th Annual Games for Change Festival today. Lucas Pope's Papers, Please, a dystopian simulator, won the Most Innovative category, which honors games that excel in creativity and aspire to bring new ideas to games for change. It was a finalist alongside Robin Arnott's SoundSelf and 12 Hit Combo's Súbete al SITP. The game also won the Best Gameplay category, in which it was a finalist with Fullbright Company's Gone Home and Preloaded's Tyrant. Thirteen, American Social History Project and Electric Funstuff's The Mission US: A Cheyenne Odyssey, a game where players take on the role of a Cheyenne boy in 1866, won the Most Impactful category. It was a finalist alongside Kognito's Start the Talk and Gigantic Mechanic's The Migrant Trail. ...

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Games for Change 2014 award finalists include Papers, Please, Gone Home

The eight finalists for the 2014 Games for Change Awards have been selected and include titles such as Gone Home, Papers, Please and SoundSelf, organizers announced today. For Most Significant Impact, submissions have been narrowed down to The Mission US: A Cheyenee Odyssey, Start the Talk and Migrant Trail. In the Most Innovative category, finalists are SoundSelf and Súbete al SITP. Gone Home and TryAnt are nominated for Best Gameplay. Lucas Pope's Papers, Please is the only game to be nominated in both the Most Innovative and Best Gameplay categories. Schell Games CEO Jesse Schell will host the event. "Whether crowd-funded or supported by public and private funding, the finalists reflect the increasing diversity of forms, audiences and subject matter embraced by developers...

News
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YouTube star Northernlion gives advice on how indie devs can succeed on video

Letourneau started by noting that YouTube stars have become "some of the biggest influencers and biggest personalities out there" in the world of gaming and yet simultaneously "a niche that's still untapped." To prove his point, Letourneau put up logos for major gaming publications like IGN, GameSpot and Kotaku. "You probably all recognize these," he said. Then he put up logos for three of the top gaming video creators on YouTube: TotalBiscuit, OfficialNerdCubed and TheRPGMinx. He pointed out that together these three reach millions of viewers, but they aren't as instantly recognizable — and as such not as frequently contacted by developers. "These three YouTubers can single-handedly get your game greenlit and drive sales if they like it," he said. To further demonstrate this,...

Opinion
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Papers, Please awards haul is a big win for gaming

This small game, in which the player takes on the role of a border-guard working for a violent and oppressive regime, is a long way from the mainstream view of games, so often assumed to be frivolities and dumb escapism. As the player, you represent the full and awesome power of bureaucracy, with power over the lives of others. You are also tasked with preserving the future of an evil regime. You can do things that make you feel like a better person, like reuniting families who lack the correct papers, but you are putting the lives and safety of your own family at grave risk. It's a situation that isn't "fun" in the traditional sense, but gaming allows the player to feel like they control the lives of others, for good or ill. It's one thing to talk about the banality of evil when it...

News
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Papers, Please wins big at the 16th annual Independent Games Festival awards

Papers, Please, a game that has players taking on the role of an immigration inspector in the Kafkaesque communist state of Arstotzka, took home nearly half of the Independent Games Festival Awards at tonight's show. The Windows and Mac game, developed by Lucas Pope, won the awards for excellence in design, excellence in narrative and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. After winning the final award of the night for the 16th annual Independent Games Festival Awards, held during the Game Developers Conference, Pope thanked his family and admired the prize. "You're looking at the peak of my career," he said. The full categories and rest of the winners are listed below. Seumas McNally Grand Prize Papers, Please DEVICE 6 Dominique Pamplemousse in "It's All Over Once the Fat Lady...

News
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Papers, Please creator wants to make PS Vita version

The developer of the immigration-themed puzzle game Papers, Please Lucas Pope recently expressed an interest in bringing the game to the PlayStation Vita, VG247 reports. Pope told the site he wants to bring Papers, Please to the handheld device, but is unsure whether he wants to port the game himself, or hand it over to a third party. "Up until now, I've been the only guy who's ever touched the source code or anything related to the game," he said. "And that's just kind of a control issue. A lot of people offered to just, 'send me over the assets and codes and I'll kick out all your localised versions, you'll be set,' but I wanted to do it myself because it was a little bit fun and because I'm a control freak." Pope told VG247 he is currently divided on what to do, and he is equally...

Papers, Please Releases
North America
  • Windows
    • Released 08/08/2013
    • Developer Lucas Pope
    • Score 8.0
  • Mac
    • Released 08/08/2013
    • Developer Lucas Pope
    • Score 8.0
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