Is it Worth Your Allowance? Is a weekly column written by 14 year old Nate. Nate reviews inexpensive games and lets your geeklings know if it’s worth spending their hard earned allowance on. Have a game to suggest? You can email Nate here.  My parental perspective appears at the end of the article.

Papers, Please

Genre: Indie

Cost: $9.99

Developer: 3909


If you’re interested in buying this game go to this link

Papers, Please is a game where you play as a customs agent for Arstotzka. Your goal is to check peoples papers and get through the day making sure that the information they give you is correct ;matching photo id to peoples faces, passports and, more. If someone gives you false or invalid information you have to send them away. This game requires a lot of focus because you have to check every detail: age, gender, photo, and as the game goes on things like tickets and documents. While also paying attention to every thing you are also on a time limit and you have to get as many people into or away from Arstotzka as fast as possible while making as few mistakes as possible, but don’t worry you can make 3 mistakes before you lose. The game has a 16-bit art style with a very dark color palette (most of the colors in the game are dark like grey and navy blue). After each day you are paid based on the amount of people you properly deal with.  When you get your money you must use it to pay rent feed your family and more kinda like the Oregon Trail. I like this game a lot and I really suggest it to people who like puzzle and or story games but I’m very bad at having to focus on all the things at once and i prefer more actiony type games, but don’t get me wrong this is a very good game.


Overall,  my final rating for this game is 6.5/10 and I think it’s worth your allowance.

Mom’s notes: Papers please is a pretty simple game.  It’s rudimentary graphics and it’s style of game play remind me a lot of the early computer games I used play as kid, but a bit darker.  There are some adult themes in the game, at one point you have a woman who claims a pimp has brought her against her will, but it’s pretty mild.  I actually love that this game stresses attention to detail – that’s really the gist of the whole thing. At points your work surface gets cluttered, you have to use executive function skills to keep your information organized.  It’s almost like brain-training for those of us with ADD.   As the game progresses you have to make decisions with money as well.  The more mistakes you make the less you get paid, and the end of each level has a Lemonade Stand-esque feature where you have to decide how to spend your salary.  It’s a bit more bleak than sugar or lemons, you need to decided who gets to eat and if you can turn the heat on, but it’s interesting to see the decisions Nate made.  This is appropriate and a good buy for ages 14+