Passing through immigration checkpoints can be a drag, but have you ever thought about what it must be like for the inspectors? In an upcoming game by developer Lucas Pope called Papers, Please you are tasked with examining documents and determining whether or not people can pass through the checkpoint.
Some might be tourists. Some might be looking for work. And some might not want to pass through for innocent reasons at all—perhaps they're a terrorist or a smuggler. Your call. Hope you make the right one!
Right now there's an early playable alpha that gives you an idea of the basic gameplay: you're given documents with information, along with a guidebook, and you have to make sure everything checks out. Is their Visa current? Is their permit the right one? Stuff like that.
Even though it's not done, I already see some complexity bubbling: there was a moment of tension when someone didn't quite look like the person on the Visa. Actually, they looked kind of sketchy. What if they were a smuggler? I denied them entry.
More features—like a sniping sequence after restless travelers try to muscle through the checkpoint—are coming down the road.
And if The Republia Times, a previous game by the same developer, is any indication, there's probably some great social commentary to be had here. The premise alone points that way: you're an inspector because you "won" the labor lottery. Sounds legit. Did I mention this game takes place in the same universe as The Republia Times?