If you made a list of the subjects likely to make for a compelling video game, “bureaucracy” would not be near the top.
That’s why “Papers, Please,” a new “Dystopian Document Thriller” by Lucas Pope, instantly piqued my interest. On his website Pope describes the setting of the game: It’s 1982 and “the communist state of Arstotzka has ended a six-year war with neighboring Kolechia and reclaimed its rightful half of the border town, Grestin. Your job as immigration inspector is to control the flow of people entering the Arstotzkan side of Grestin from Kolechia. Among the throngs of immigrants and visitors looking for work are hidden smugglers, spies, and terrorists.”