Papers Please Demake Released to Celebrate 10-Year Anniversary

Devout Inspectors can get back to work with the release of LCD Please, a Papers Please demake that dumbs down the passport inspection game into a hyper-retro, LCD-handheld style game with minimalist graphics and lovingly antiquated controls.

Made to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the beloved passport inspection game, Rock Paper Shotgun details how the demake is particularly nostalgic for anyone that loved to play “LCD handhelds as a child,” and the demake very much lends the game “an eerie new dimension” to the cutesy beeps and boops accompanying each denial or strip-search.

For those that haven’t had a chance to join the glorious Arstotzka Administration, Papers, Please is a bureaucracy simulator following a border patrol inspector in a fictional 1980s Communist country.

Despite its bland-sounding premise, Papers, Please’s engaging gameplay can drive you wild trying to verify proper information, all while under the constant threat of terrorist attacks, feeding a starving family, and a ruthless government with zero regard for your life.

Even if Papers, Please already boasts minimalistic graphics, Lucas Pope takes it further by transforming the dramatized simulator into a handheld LCD game you likely got from fast food restaurants as a kid or from parents that thought Tetris was a flavor of ice cream.

Despite its simplicity, the demake offers much of the original Papers, Please experience in forcing the player to verify an entree’s name and country before entry. Even hard mode challenges players with new gameplay like a Wanted, VIP, and Banned personal for extra points and greater risk.

I hope you brought your reading glasses.

Though Rock Paper Shotgun notes that the Demake “strips out a lot of the sobering narrative context” that made the first game so engaging (Yes, I teared up when we reunited the border guard with his wife), it still offers “the simple pleasure of handling documents, scanning rules, and pressing chunky interface buttons when [you’ve] made [your] mind up.”

Frankly, after playing the demake for half an hour, I can attest that it still captures Papers, Please’s charm with delightfully retro soundbites accompanying our entry or denial of these poor, miserable people.

Will There Be a Papers, Please 2?

Though the game’s developer, Lucas Pope, has already brought the game to nearly every console, and even to iOS as Lucas Pope details “cramming it onto phones” in his devlog, there’s been little indication of the development or release of a second Papers, Please. However, Lucas Pope has already released Return of the Obra Dinn, a nautical detective sim that sends a bureaucrat to investigate an abandoned naval ship and asses the causes of death for its crew by traveling back in time to the moment of their death. 

Though it’s set far before Papers, Please in 1807 in England, it emulates much of the deduction, detection, and grim story building that made Papers, Please such a hit. Whatever the case, fans of the deadly Communist paper-pushing job will have to satisfy themselves with Return of the Obra Dinn and LCD, Please until Arstotzka puts out another post for a border inspector; you still have a family to feed, after all!

Further Reading 

Wait, Comrade! Arstotzka still requires your service! True Arstotzkians can read the stories below for hit new indie games and fantastic stores. That is all, Comrade; glory to Arstotzka!

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