The pitch: You are a border agent for an oppressive, Eastern Bloc-like nation in the early 1980s. Your meager salary barely keeps your family nourished. Paperwork requirements expand every day. Your decisions can doom smugglers and crush dreams. Game on!
The goods: A truly unique gaming experience that garnered acclaim from critics and players, ‘Papers, Please‘ forces players to grapple with profound moral conundrums. Your job is basically to approve or deny visas, but you rapidly get involved in bribes, party politics, resistance movements, and many other schemes. Creator Lucas Pope told ‘Men’s Journal’ he wanted to create a game showing what it was like to be a functionary rather than “the typical spy/hero who’s slipping through the checkpoint.”
The result: Pope garnered enough votes on Steam Greenlight, a site that crowdsources funding decisions then invests in new games, to finance the release of his ‘Papers, Please.’ The artistic-minded indie game is compatible with Mac operating systems and Windows. [$10; steam]
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