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25 Awesome Games Like Papers, Please in 2024!
June 12th, 2024 - By Steve Chang

Discover the gripping world of border control games that will test your moral compass and decision-making skills

"Papers, Please" is a unique indie game that places you in the fictional dystopian country of Arstotzka, where you assume the role of an immigration officer stationed at a border checkpoint. Your primary task is to inspect and validate the documents of incoming travelers, ensuring that only legitimate entrants are allowed through. The game brilliantly combines elements of puzzle-solving, resource management, and moral decision-making as you balance strict immigration protocols with the dire human stories of those seeking asylum. The game's retro art style, compelling narrative, and intense atmosphere have earned it critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase.

If you enjoy the meticulous and thought-provoking gameplay of "Papers, Please," you'll be thrilled to know that there are many similar games that provide a comparable experience. Titles like "Not Tonight," where you take on the role of a bouncer in a post-Brexit UK, and "Beholder," which has you spying on your neighbors to report any suspicious activities to the government, offer the same blend of strategy, ethical dilemmas, and immersive storylines. These games challenge you to navigate complex moral landscapes while making decisions under pressure. Keep listening, because we've compiled a full list of games like "Papers, Please" that you won't want to miss...

(I may earn a commission from purchases through links in this article. All prices are the lowest I can find.)

25. This War of Mine

If you enjoyed Papers, Please, you'll find a lot to appreciate in This War of Mine. Like Papers, Please, This War of Mine puts you in morally complex situations where your decisions profoundly impact the lives of others. Instead of managing a border checkpoint, though, you’re tasked with guiding a group of civilians through the harrowing circumstances of a war-torn city. The game thrives on its atmosphere of tension and urgency, much like Papers, Please, as you scavenge for resources, manage limited supplies, and face ethical dilemmas that tug at your conscience. The feeling of unease and the stakes of every decision are heightened by the game's grim, yet compelling, setting.

Another similarity lies in the way both games challenge you to balance empathy with survival. In Papers, Please, you had to decide who could cross the border while dealing with your own needs and those of your family. Similarly, This War of Mine requires you to make tough choices about who gets food and medicine, who goes out to scavenge, and how you deal with potential threats. Both games are excellent at immersing you in their worlds, making you feel the weight of every decision. The narrative-driven gameplay combined with a focus on human stories ensures that each playthrough feels significant and heartfelt, keeping you engaged and invested in the outcome of your characters.

This War of Mine is available on multiple platforms including PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, typically priced around $20-$30 USD.

24. Beholder

Beholder shares a striking resemblance to Papers, Please in the way it immerses you in a grim, dystopian world where your actions directly impact both gameplay and narrative. Just like in Papers, Please, where you played as an immigration officer making life-or-death decisions daily, Beholder puts you in the shoes of a government-installed landlord. Your job is to spy on tenants, report any suspicious activity, and balance moral choices against the heavy hand of the authoritarian regime. The tension and ethical dilemmas are palpable, making each decision as nerve-wracking and impactful as in Papers, Please.

Another similarity between Beholder and Papers, Please is the intricate blend of management simulation and moral quandaries. In Beholder, you’ll manage resources, time, and information while dealing with various tenants, each with unique stories and secrets. The game challenges you to decide whether to be a loyal servant of the state or a compassionate human being, mirroring the tough choices you faced as an immigration officer in Papers, Please. Both games offer multiple endings based on your decisions, adding replay value and making you ponder the weight of your actions long after you've finished the game.

Beholder is available on PC, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, and iOS, typically priced around $9.99 USD.

23. Orwell: Keeping an Eye on You

If you enjoyed the immersive and morally complex experience of Papers, Please, you'll find Orwell: Keeping an Eye on You to be a compelling follow-up. Both games place you in roles of significant authority and responsibility within oppressive regimes, where every decision can have profound consequences. In Orwell, however, instead of checking passports at a border, you become a government investigator, sifting through personal data and monitoring citizens' communications to ensure state security. The level of responsibility and the ethical dilemmas you face will remind you of the gripping tension you felt in Papers, Please, making you ponder deeply about privacy, freedom, and control.

Another salient similarity is how both games use minimalist aesthetics and interactive storytelling to create a fully immersive world. While Papers, Please captures the grey, gritty atmosphere of a border checkpoint with outstanding pixel art, Orwell relies on clean, user-interface-driven gameplay that mimics the feel of an actual surveillance system. Both games excel in making you feel the weight of your decisions, with compelling narratives that unfold based on your choices. If you loved the strategic balancing act and moral complexity in Papers, Please, Orwell will offer you a fresh yet familiar challenge where your decisions can either uphold the law or resist the surveillance state.

Orwell: Keeping an Eye on You is available on PC, Mac, and Linux, typically priced around $9.99 USD.

22. Not Tonight

If you enjoyed the tense, decision-based gameplay of Papers, Please, then Not Tonight is a must-try experience for you! In Not Tonight, you take on the role of a bouncer in a post-Brexit dystopian Britain, where you must carefully scrutinize IDs and guest lists to ensure you are letting the right people into various venues. Just like in Papers, Please, your choices carry significant weight, affecting your employment, earnings, and the storyline. The game excellently combines the thrill of making split-second decisions with a gripping narrative that keeps you engaged from start to finish.

Beyond the core mechanics of checking credentials, Not Tonight also shares the immersive sense of urgency and moral ambiguity found in Papers, Please. You'll juggle daily quotas, time pressures, and moral dilemmas as you navigate a politically charged landscape. The game adds layers of strategy with its RPG elements, allowing you to level up your character and unlock new abilities to become better at your job. The distinctive art style and atmospheric music further enrich your experience, drawing you deeper into its intriguingly dark world.

Not Tonight is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, typically priced around $24.99 USD.

21. Headliner: NoviNews

If you loved the gripping moral dilemmas and meticulous attention to detail in Papers, Please, then Headliner: NoviNews is right up your alley! In Headliner: NoviNews, you play as a news editor in a fictional country, choosing which stories to approve for publication and which to censor. The stakes are high as each choice you make can influence public opinion and determine the future of the society. Much like the immigration office in Papers, Please, your decisions impact the characters’ lives and shape the narrative, immersing you in a web of ethical challenges and power dynamics.

Another similarity lies in the emotional storytelling and the captivating atmosphere. Headliner: NoviNews and Papers, Please both require you to navigate a politically charged environment where every decision carries weight. The people you interact with are deeply affected by your actions, and the game continuously presents you with complex trade-offs, ensuring every playthrough is unique. The paper-pushing mechanics are replaced with headline approvals, but the core essence of making tough decisions while balancing personal and professional stakes remains intact, providing a similarly immersive and thought-provoking experience.

Headliner: NoviNews is available on PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, typically priced around $14.99 USD.

20. Peace, Death!

If you enjoyed the intense decision-making process of Papers, Please, then you'll likely find Peace, Death! to be equally engaging. Instead of handling passports and entry permits, Peace, Death! places you in the role of a reaper working for Death, sorting souls to Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory. The game captures that same blend of urgency and moral dilemma, requiring you to quickly assess the traits and sins of each soul just as you would evaluate the documents of immigrants in Papers, Please. Both games offer a combination of strategy and time management that keeps you on your toes.

Much like in Papers, Please, where the stakes grow higher with each passing day as complex situations arise, Peace, Death! continually introduces new and challenging elements to keep the gameplay fresh and exciting. You'll encounter various scenarios that test your judgment, from distinguishing angelic traits to identifying demonic disguises. The satisfaction of making accurate decisions under pressure is incredibly rewarding, making every successful day feel like a small victory. Plus, the dark humor and unique art style add an entertaining twist to the otherwise serious task of sorting souls.

Peace, Death! is available on platforms like PC and the Nintendo Switch, typically priced around $4.99 USD.

19. Cart Life

If you enjoyed the captivating and morally challenging experience of Papers, Please, then Cart Life is another game that will keep you equally engaged. Both games place you in the shoes of ordinary people trying to navigate their way through everyday struggles. In Cart Life, you manage the lives of street vendors in a small town, making tough decisions over finances, time management, and personal relationships, much like the border checkpoint dilemmas in Papers, Please. The real-world difficulties and consequential choices you face affect not only your character but also the people around you, providing a profound sense of realism and responsibility.

Another similarity lies in the game's intricate, minimalist art style and immersive narrative-driven gameplay. Where Papers, Please immerses you in the harsh, oppressive atmosphere of a fictional dystopia, Cart Life presents a gritty, yet touching portrayal of the everyday hustle. The gameplay mechanics revolve around balancing your basic needs, customer satisfaction, and personal life, which can be incredibly rewarding and thought-provoking. Both games excel at making you ponder the broader implications of your actions, crafting an experience that is both engaging and memorable.

Cart Life is available on Microsoft Windows and Linux platforms, typically priced around $5 USD.

18. The Republia Times

If you loved the intricate storytelling and moral dilemmas of Papers, Please, you'll find The Republia Times equally compelling. In The Republia Times, you take on the role of an editor at the nation's largest newspaper in a totalitarian state. Your task is to balance the demands of the government against the flow of information to the public. Much like how Papers, Please challenges you with the ethical quandaries of immigration control, The Republia Times has you making tough decisions that can influence public opinion and governmental power dynamics. Your choices matter, impacting everything from public trust to your personal safety.

Both games thrive on their minimalist art styles, which emphasize the weight of decisions over visual complexity. The gameplay in The Republia Times is simple yet engrossing, requiring you to decide which news articles to publish each day. Each headline or report you push to print can have far-reaching consequences, mirroring the tension and stress that made Papers, Please so addictive. The feeling of examining every detail to avoid negative repercussions is a common thread in both games, making The Republia Times an easy recommendation for anyone who enjoyed the moral density and pressure of managing border security in Papers, Please.

The Republia Times is available on PC and can be played via browser or downloaded, typically priced at around $0 USD.

17. Ministry of Broadcast

If you loved the intense, morally complex gameplay of Papers, Please, then Ministry of Broadcast is right up your alley. Both games create gripping narratives that make you ponder the consequences of your actions. In Ministry of Broadcast, you play as a character attempting to gain freedom in a dystopian world by participating in a twisted, televised competition. Much like Papers, Please, every decision you make affects not just the storyline but the lives of the characters you encounter, offering the same level of psychological depth and tension.

Ministry of Broadcast also excels in creating a charged atmosphere through its retro-inspired graphics and a compelling storyline that echoes the oppressive regimes seen in Papers, Please. The pixel art style and the meticulous attention to detail imbue the game with a unique aesthetic that complements its dark, satirical tone. Like Papers, Please, the gameplay in Ministry of Broadcast is a mix of puzzle-solving and narrative choices, ensuring that you remain fully engaged as you navigate through moral grey areas and harrowing challenges.

Ministry of Broadcast is available on PC, Nintendo Switch, and iOS, typically priced around $14.99 USD.

16. Do Not Feed the Monkeys

If you enjoyed the moral dilemmas and surveillance aspects of Papers, Please, you’re going to love Do Not Feed the Monkeys. Like Papers, Please, Do Not Feed the Monkeys places you in a role where you observe and make impactful decisions based on what you see. Instead of checking passports at a border, you’re a member of the "Primate Observation Club," where your job involves monitoring various individuals through hidden cameras. You'll need to manage your time wisely, balancing your surveillance duties with your own character’s basic needs such as eating and sleeping, adding a strategic layer to the game similar to the pressure you felt managing time and resources in Papers, Please.

Another similarity lies in the unfolding of increasingly complex narratives through your observations and decisions. Just as in Papers, Please where your choices could change the lives of the characters crossing the border, in Do Not Feed the Monkeys, your interactions with the people you're spying on can lead to various outcomes, for better or worse. The game challenges you to think ethically and strategically, adding layers of depth and consequence that will keep you engaged. The sense of voyeurism and the clandestine nature of your activity injects a thrilling, almost noir-like atmosphere, paralleling the tension and intrigue you experienced as an immigration officer in Glorious Arstotzka.

Do Not Feed the Monkeys is available on PC, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, typically priced around $12.99 USD.

15. Passpartout: The Starving Artist

If you enjoyed the moral dilemmas and time management aspects of Papers, Please, then Passpartout: The Starving Artist will definitely captivate you. In this game, you step into the shoes of a struggling artist in Paris who must balance their passion for art with the practicalities of survival. Much like how you meticulously scrutinize documents for discrepancies in Papers, Please, here you manage the creation and sale of paintings. Each decision, from the style you choose to the buyers you appease, impacts your income and reputation. This balancing act provides a similar blend of tension and satisfaction as you work to keep your character from starving.

Passpartout: The Starving Artist also incorporates the engaging element of crafting your own success story, similar to the inspector's evolving narrative in Papers, Please. You face constant decisions that can affect the direction of your career—align with commercial interests to ensure steady sales or pursue artistic integrity at the risk of impoverishment. The art market's unpredictable nature is akin to the ever-changing political landscape in Papers, Please, keeping you on your toes as you adapt to new challenges. This game's emphasis on choices and their consequences will resonant with anyone who appreciates the depth and complexity of Papers, Please.

Passpartout: The Starving Artist is available on PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile platforms, typically priced around $9.99 USD.

14. Reigns

If you enjoyed the intricate decision-making and morally ambiguous scenarios in Papers, Please, then Reigns might just be the next game you'll want to dive into. Both games revolve around making rapid-fire decisions that have significant consequences on the game's world and its inhabitants. In Reigns, you take on the role of a monarch tasked with balancing four pillars of society: the church, the people, the military, and the treasury. Much like in Papers, Please, every choice you make has a domino effect, impacting future decisions and outcomes. The game's card-based mechanic keeps you engaged as you swipe left or right to make decisions, akin to the stamp of approval or denial in Papers, Please.

Another appealing similarity is how both games handle narrative depth and player agency. Reigns excels at telling a rich, branching story through minimalist art and simple yet effective storytelling mechanics. You'll encounter various characters with their own agendas, much like the citizens and inspectors in Papers, Please. Each decision you make unravels different storylines and outcomes, encouraging multiple playthroughs to explore all possibilities. This balance of strategy and narrative choice makes both games incredibly replayable and continuously engaging.

Reigns is available on multiple platforms, including PC, macOS, iOS, and Android, typically priced around $2.99 USD.

13. We. The Revolution

If you enjoyed the morally complex decisions and intense political atmosphere of Papers, Please, you'll find a lot to love in We. The Revolution. Both games put you in the shoes of a pivotal figure during a time of political upheaval, with We. The Revolution placing you as a judge during the French Revolution. Like in Papers, Please, your decisions not only affect the overall narrative but can also result in life or death for the individuals you encounter. You'll balance the demands of various factions, navigate the complexities of personal vendettas, and weigh the consequences of your actions, all while trying to survive in a turbulent society.

Another similarity lies in the engaging, choice-driven gameplay that both titles offer. In both games, you'll find yourself evaluating evidence, questioning suspects, and making judgments that require careful consideration. Each decision you make is fraught with tension and potential repercussions, making the gameplay a gripping experience. The art styles, while different, both evoke the respective atmospheres beautifully—Papers, Please with its stark, utilitarian aesthetics and We. The Revolution with its dramatic, painterly visuals. This creates an immersive environment where your choices feel significant and impactful.

We. The Revolution is available on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, typically priced around $19.99 USD.

12. Gods Will Be Watching

If you enjoyed the morally complex choices and intense decision-making in Papers, Please, you'll likely find Gods Will Be Watching to be equally engrossing. Both games place you in high-stakes situations where every decision matters, but while Papers, Please focuses on the bureaucratic challenges of managing a border checkpoint, Gods Will Be Watching thrusts you into survival scenarios that test your ability to manage limited resources and your crew's morale. In both games, the weight of your choices will lead to unexpected outcomes, making for a thrilling and contemplative gameplay experience.

Another similarity is the minimalist yet highly immersive art style that both games employ. Gods Will Be Watching uses pixel art visuals, much like Papers, Please, to convey a deep sense of atmosphere and emotion without the need for advanced graphics. This style not only makes the games visually appealing but also allows for a focus on storytelling and decision-making. The soundtracks further enhance the tension, drawing you deeper into the game's universe. If you loved the challenge of balancing ethical dilemmas and political pressures in Papers, Please, you'll appreciate the intricate balancing act that Gods Will Be Watching demands.

Gods Will Be Watching is available on PC, Mac, Linux, and Nintendo Switch, typically priced around $9.99 USD.

11. Unforeseen Incidents

If you enjoyed the gripping narrative and moral complexities of Papers, Please, Unforeseen Incidents is sure to captivate you as well. Both games immerse you in dystopian settings where your decisions carry significant weight. In Unforeseen Incidents, you play as Harper Pendrell, an ordinary guy who stumbles upon a mysterious epidemic. Each choice you make impacts the storyline, much like how every decision in Papers, Please influences the fate of applicants and the safety of your nation. The game’s atmosphere and morally ambiguous scenarios will keep you on the edge of your seat, reminiscent of the chilling experience you've felt with Papers, Please.

In addition to their narrative depth, both games deliver a unique blend of puzzle-solving and storytelling. While Papers, Please challenges you with its meticulous document inspection and rule management, Unforeseen Incidents engages your problem-solving skills through intricate puzzles scattered throughout the game. You'll find yourself piecing together clues and interacting with a variety of characters, drawing you further into its richly textured world. The hand-painted art style and compelling dialogue in Unforeseen Incidents add an additional layer of immersion, echoing the engaging, albeit stark, visual and narrative style of Papers, Please.

Unforeseen Incidents is available on PC, Mac, and Nintendo Switch, typically priced around $19.99 USD.

10. Orwell: Ignorance is Strength

If you enjoyed the critical decision-making and moral dilemmas presented in Papers, Please, then you'll find Orwell: Ignorance is Strength to be right up your alley. Both games place you in the role of a government worker tasked with making crucial choices that impact the lives of everyday citizens. In Orwell, you're a state operative scouring digital communications to identify potential threats, much like how you reviewed documents and profiles for inconsistencies in Papers, Please. The tension and urgency of making the right call are palpable, keeping you engaged and questioning your own ethical boundaries.

Another compelling similarity is the narrative depth and the impactful storylines in both games. Just as Papers, Please uses its totalitarian backdrop to explore themes of duty, morality, and the human condition, Orwell delves into the consequences of surveillance and misinformation. The narrative unfolds through your interactions and the dossiers you compile, revealing a complex web of secrets, lies, and truths. This storytelling approach provides a richly immersive experience as you balance your responsibilities to the state with your personal sense of justice, making every decision significant and emotionally charged.

Orwell: Ignorance is Strength is available on PC, typically priced around $9.99 USD.

9. Out There

If you enjoyed the decision-making and resource management aspects of Papers, Please, you'll find a lot to love in Out There. Out There transports you to the vast loneliness of deep space where, similar to the border checkpoint in Papers, Please, every decision you make has far-reaching consequences. Instead of verifying documents, you're managing your spaceship's resources and making critical choices about your crew's survival. The game's narrative-driven encounters keep you on the edge of your seat, evoking a similar sense of urgency and importance that Papers, Please excels at.

Another similarity lies in the atmospheric storytelling. While Papers, Please immerses you in the tension of a fictional dystopian regime, Out There encapsulates the isolation and unknown dangers of space exploration. Both games thrive on their dark, immersive worlds, pushing you to ponder moral and ethical dilemmas. Each time you choose a path or manage resources in Out There, it’s reminiscent of the meticulous decisions you had to make with each passport in Papers, Please, keeping you engaged and invested in the outcome.

Out There is available on Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, and Nintendo Switch, typically priced around $4.99 USD.

8. Fake It to Make It

If you enjoyed the bureaucratic challenge and moral dilemmas of Papers, Please, then you'll probably find Fake It to Make It just as captivating. This game, like Papers, Please, puts you in a position of power where your decisions have real consequences. Instead of being an immigration officer, you'll step into the role of a fake news creator. Your objective is to make stories that go viral, influencing public opinion, and generating revenue. The gameplay mechanics emphasize resource management, strategic thinking, and ethical choices, creating a similar experience of tension and responsibility that you felt in Papers, Please.

What sets Fake It to Make It apart while still maintaining that core Papers, Please feel is the meticulous attention to detail and the balancing act between efficiency and ethical considerations. Just as you had to decide whether to let someone into the country or not, here you'll decide what news to spin or which demographics to target. Both games make you question your decisions and their impact on a micro and macro level, making for an engaging experience that keeps you hooked. The visual and auditory minimalism further amplifies the immersive feel, drawing you deeply into the game's world.

Fake It to Make It is available on PC and Mac, typically priced around $7.99 USD.

7. We Happy Few

If you enjoyed the tense decision-making and moral conundrums of Papers, Please, then you’ll find a lot to love in We Happy Few. Both games immerse you in a dystopian world where your choices carry significant weight, and the atmosphere keeps you constantly on edge. In We Happy Few, you navigate a society obsessed with happiness through the use of a drug called "Joy." Much like how you had to scrutinize documents and make tough decisions as an immigration officer in Papers, Please, here you must carefully balance the need to blend in with maintaining your own grip on reality. The intricate narrative and the necessity for keen observation make We Happy Few a deeply engaging experience where every decision matters.

What sets We Happy Few apart but in a familiar way is its rich, story-driven gameplay and characters with unique story arcs quite like the evolving narratives in Papers, Please. The added layer of first-person perspective intensifies this as you interact directly with the environment and the quirky inhabitants of Wellington Wells. You must constantly manage limited resources, much like you did in Papers, Please, to ensure your character’s survival and sanity while unravelling the secrets behind the society. The game’s procedural generation and the multitude of ways to tackle challenges ensure that you’ll find it just as replayable and intriguing as Papers, Please, rewarding careful planning and quick thinking.

We Happy Few is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, typically priced around $60 USD.

6. Valiant Hearts: The Great War

If you enjoyed the emotional depth and meaningful choices in Papers, Please, you might find Valiant Hearts: The Great War equally compelling. While it’s set against the backdrop of World War I rather than a fictional oppressive regime, Valiant Hearts dives deeply into the human stories within larger historical events. Both games excel at combining narrative and gameplay to create a poignant experience. In Valiant Hearts, you’ll solve puzzles and overcome obstacles which reflect the grim realities and moral dilemmas of wartime, much like the paperwork puzzles and moral choices in Papers, Please. The hand-drawn art style of Valiant Hearts also offers a unique visual appeal, similar to the distinctive, gritty look of Papers, Please.

Additionally, both games emphasize the impact of your decisions on the characters' lives, drawing you into a narrative where your choices feel significant. In Papers, Please, you're checking documents to determine who enters a country, often grappling with ethical decisions that affect families. Valiant Hearts mirrors this by presenting you with scenarios where your actions can lead to life or death outcomes for the characters you meet. The connection you develop with these characters enhances the emotional weight of your decisions, making every choice feel heavy and impactful. Each game provides a unique blend of historical context and emotional storytelling, ensuring an experience that’s as thought-provoking as it is engaging.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War is available on multiple platforms including PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, typically priced around $15 USD.

5. Rainy Day

If you enjoyed the intense decision-making and morally challenging scenarios in Papers, Please, you'll feel right at home with Rainy Day. In this game, you navigate a similarly engrossing setting that deals with the complexities of human interactions under adverse circumstances. Much like Papers, Please, Rainy Day demands you to perform actions based on an ever-growing list of rules and constraints, making each decision critical and impactful. The game's atmosphere, driven by minimalistic yet effective graphics and hauntingly beautiful music, mirrors the grim but captivating allure of Papers, Please.

Rainy Day also excels at presenting you with emotionally charged choices, fostering a deep sense of empathy and urgency. The limited time you have to make these decisions keeps you on edge, pushing you to weigh the immediate benefits against long-term consequences. This mechanic, reminiscent of the ticking clock in Papers, Please, adds layers of stress and immersion, making you care deeply about the outcomes. Intriguing characters and unpredictable twists further ensure that every gameplay session feels fresh and gripping, much like the ever-evolving complexities of border control in Papers, Please.

Rainy Day is available on PC, typically priced around $9.99 USD.

4. Shelter

If you loved Papers, Please for its engaging, detail-oriented tasks and its emotionally charged storytelling, then Shelter is another game you'll appreciate. Both games place a heavy emphasis on decision-making and the impact of those decisions on your immediate world. In Shelter, you are tasked with managing a group of survivors in the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse. Much like you did as an immigration officer in Papers, Please, here you'll need to carefully allocate resources, such as food and medical supplies, to ensure the well-being of your group. Each decision feels weighty, pushing you to think about the long-term ramifications of your actions.

Another striking similarity between the two games is their ability to build emotional stakes through the characters you interact with. In Papers, Please, each immigrant had a story that could tug at your heartstrings; Shelter does the same with your band of survivors. You'll come to care for their well-being just as much, if not more. The art style in Shelter may be different, but it complements the grim reality of a post-apocalyptic world nicely, much like the stark, pixel-art presentation in Papers, Please draws you into the cold, bureaucratic world of a dystopian society.

Shelter is available on PC, typically priced around $14.99 USD.

3. Murder In The Hotel Lisbon

If you loved the intricate and thought-provoking gameplay of Papers, Please, then Murder In The Hotel Lisbon will definitely catch your attention. Both games excel in offering a unique blend of narrative and puzzle-solving elements, making you feel like you're uncovering a greater story with each clue or document you encounter. In Murder In The Hotel Lisbon, you step into the shoes of a quirky detective, solving a mysterious murder that involves both wit and attention to detail. Just like in Papers, Please, you'll find yourself examining various pieces of evidence, cross-referencing facts, and connecting dots to uncover the truth. This similarity creates a deeply engaging experience, keeping you on the edge of your seat as you dive deeper into the mystery.

Moreover, Murder In The Hotel Lisbon shares that same captivating sense of pressure and urgency that made Papers, Please so addictive. You'll be faced with time-sensitive decisions and moral dilemmas that test your judgment and observational skills. The retro art style and the unique, sometimes dark humor are reminiscent of Papers, Please, giving you a familiar yet fresh perspective in a different setting. These elements combined will provide you with a fulfilling experience, focusing on narrative depth and the satisfaction of solving complex problems.

Murder In The Hotel Lisbon is available on Windows and macOS, typically priced around $9.99 USD.

2. Beat Cop

If you loved the moral dilemmas and daily decision-making in Papers, Please, then Beat Cop will draw you right in with its unique take on law enforcement. Much like the immigration inspector role in Papers, Please, Beat Cop places you in a position where every choice matters. As a former detective demoted to a beat cop, you tackle various tasks such as writing tickets, resolving disputes, and dealing with criminal activities. Just like in Papers, Please, you'll find yourself balancing duty, personal ethics, and an overarching storyline that keeps you engaged in a world filled with tough choices.

Both games excel in creating an atmosphere rich with tension and moral ambiguity. In Beat Cop, your interactions with the community, thugs, and other police officers add layers of complexity similar to the constant pressures from superiors and border crossers in Papers, Please. You’ll navigate through a retro-styled city, making decisions that affect not only your career but also your standing with different factions, much like managing the approval of various departments in Papers, Please. The retro graphics and immersive narrative further enhance your experience, appealing strongly to fans of meticulously making impactful decisions.

Beat Cop is available on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and mobile devices, typically priced around $14.99 USD.

1. The Final Station

If you enjoyed the meticulous nature of checking documents and making critical decisions in Papers, Please, you'll find a similar immersive experience in The Final Station. Both games revolve around a dystopian world where your role carries significant weight in the broader narrative. In The Final Station, you take on the role of a train conductor responsible for delivering passengers and essential supplies through dangerous territories. Much like how you analyze documents in Papers, Please, here you'll need to carefully manage resources, decipher codes, and determine the best course of action to ensure the safety of your passengers and complete your mission.

The sense of impending danger and moral decision-making in both games will keep you on the edge of your seat. In The Final Station, the stakes are high as you face not just human passengers but also potential zombie-like creatures during stops. This creates a layer of suspense similar to the intense atmosphere of Papers, Please where the threat of political repercussions looms over your every move. Both games excel at building a rich, oppressive atmosphere that compels you to think critically and make ethical choices under pressure, enhancing the overall immersive experience.

The Final Station is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, typically priced around $14.99 USD.

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