Papers, Please

Game review by John Sooja, Common Sense Media
Papers, Please Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 15+

Mature immigration game forces tough ethical choices.

Mac, Windows 2013

Parents say

age 12+

Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 22 reviews

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A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Moral and political, Papers, Please never refrains from making players recoil with remorse

Papers, Please follows you, a randomly selected, poor and average inspector placed on the border between two halves of a country. You yourself are plotted to decide who goes through and who doesn’t, this ranges from parents, lovers, terrorists and several others, and it leads to havy moral decision. Although the game is heavily pixelated, some of the violence can be a bit shocking, but never in a graphic/bloody way. These scenes include suicide bombers taking their own lives and lives around them, people being shot down, knocked out, hit by cars and poisoned. All are heavily pixelated, although some blood can be seen from these incidents, they are more shocking than graphic. Language includes sparing/infrequent and occasion use of “fuck” and “shit”, we see pixelated depictions of full nudity in the context of security scans, male and female genitalia along with breasts and buttocks can be made out, but this is in explicitly non-sexual scenarios. Some heavy themes relating to sex trafficking explained in little detail, “help us”, “I can find you good girl”, “I can make you happy any time”, etc. and some overall mature elements of death, loss, illness and trauma. The game has an overall depressing setting, and the game sets out to test your sympathy for others. For overall maturity level and content, I’d say 12-13+ is an optimal age to experience Papers, Please

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
age 13+

Papers Please - 13+ Immigration Game

Papers Please is a great game, but there is a newspaper. There are certain characters, like Vince Lestrade (a man who killed his wife and escaped jail) and Dari Ludum (Took a poor girl and forced into a brothel and prostitution). There is also a fair bit of swearing.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Mac, Windows
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, text analysis, using supporting evidence, Social Studies: citizenship, cultural understanding, government, power structures
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, decision-making, investigation, Responsibility & Ethics: following codes of conduct, learning from consequences, making wise decisions, respect for others
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: 3909
  • Release date: August 8, 2013
  • Genre: Simulation
  • ESRB rating: NR
  • Last updated: July 26, 2018

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For kids who love sims and games about politics

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