To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the award-winning Papers, Please, developer Lucas Pope has released a Game & Watch-inspired demake which translates gameplay onto a simple LCD screen with a ‘yes or no’ binary.
In the original Papers, Please, players take on the role of an immigration officer analysing the documents of individuals, and determining whether they may pass border security in the fictional country of Arstotzka. While days start simply, they quickly grow more complex as difficult cases arise, and players must decide whether to use empathy when encountering people suffering hardship, or to keep their head down for the security of their family.
It’s an exploration of the morality behind immigration, and aims to bring awareness about the impact it can have on individuals. Since launch, it’s been critically lauded for its topical exploration, and for how it challenges players to question their ethics.
Since the launch of Papers, Please, developer Lucas Pope has continued to create innovative, thought-provoking video games – with his latest release, Return of the Obra Dinn, also being highly celebrated for its ingenuity. Both Papers, Please and Return of the Obra Dinn won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the Independent Games Festival (IGF) in their respective release years.
The newly-released demake of Papers, Please – known as LCD, Please – is a distillation of the core ideas of the original game, with players meeting a range of faces, comparing their documents and denying or approving entry to Arstotzka. In addition to an easy mode, the game also has a hard mode that includes wanted posters and banned countries that must be compared against entrants, and there are also VIP entrants that complicate matters.
While the ‘demake’ game lacks the sprawling stories and unsettling tales of the original game, it’s still a unique and amusing love letter to Papers, Please and its essential message.
You can now play LCD, Please for free on itch.io. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Papers, Please, the game is now on sale across multiple platforms including GOG and Steam, and on mobile devices.