grahf14's Papers, Please (PC) review

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Tedious after a while, but the story and events are interesting

I just finished getting all the achievements in this game after picking it up during the Steam Summer sale. The first play through was really entertaining, but by the end of my third play through it was pretty tedious. I played through the game 3 times and spent about 13 hours with it

You play as a border control checkpoint worker for the country of Arztotska, and Sovietesque dictatorship with an oppressive government. There is a revolutionary group named EZIZ opposed to the current Arztotskan regime, that tries to get you to help them as the game progresses. Throughout the game, people will slowly trickle through your checkpoint, and you have to review their documents and decide whether to grant them entry into Arztotska, or deny them. When you start off, you only have to check passports, but as the days go by more documents get thrown into play and it takes a while to adapt to them. When you let someone in when they should be denied, or vice versa, your pay gets docked, and it can be pretty frustrating to pore over someone's paperwork for a minute or two only to get a pay dock for some minute detail. You gain money from correctly checking people's papers, and from various story events that happen throughout the game. At the end of each day, there is a checklist of how much money you earned that day, and the various expenses you need to pay for such as food, heat, and rent. If you run out of money, you lose the game.

My first play through, I was going by paycheck to paycheck, barely having any money left over at the end of each day to cover the expenses. This was actually really fun. Sometimes people will walk up to your booth begging to be let in without proper paper work, or bribing you so that they can enter. When I was strapped for cash, I did whatever paid better, but my second and third play throughs I explored some alternate paths and found them all to be pretty interesting. By the end of my third time through the game I was whizzing through people's documents barely getting any citations for picking them wrong. I felt that once I had gotten better at the game, it became far less fun. I enjoyed it much more when I could enjoy the story, and struggled to keep up with the ever changing requirements for entry.

It's a fun game, entertaining with a cool story and neat little events, but don't expect to play it for more than a couple days.

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