Papers, Please is available at a generous discount over at Steam, for all those who missed it in 2013
Papers, Please is far removed from what we generally understand as, and like to call, a game. It's a depressing slog, an exercise in thankless repetition, a greyish miasma of futility, and exactly because it's all that, it is brilliant. Sitting at a border checkpoint all day, looking through papers, deciding the fate of the faces that rush past you routinely, dispassionate and under constant pressure - it's every bit as repulsive, as it is engaging.
Sure, the game has its odd moments of humour, but they only serve to further highlight how grey and lifeless everything else surrounding your cell is in comparison. As time passes and the rhythm and pace of the game increases, as your routine check-ups become more and more complex, and the clock seems to be ticking ever faster, mistakes become a very real possibility, and quite fatal for those dependant on your paycheck. Still, in all its harshness and cruelty, the game might not have too hard a time pulling at your heart strings.
Papers, Please is a game you have to play, in order to understand how this heap of contradictions fits together so seamlessly. For all those who somehow managed to pass over the indie title 3 years back, now is your chance. The game is 60 per cent off on Steam at the time of writing, and will cost roughly £3 ($4 US) for the next 24 hours.