Document thriller ‘Papers, Please’ heads to phones on August 5th

Arstotzka comes to the small screen.

Lucas Pope

Nearly a decade after it propelled creator Lucas Pope to indie game stardom, “dystopian document thriller” Papers, Please is finally coming to phones. On Saturday, Pope took to Twitter to announce he’s bringing the game to Android and additional iOS devices next month. “‘Papers, Please’ but small. August 5th,” he said. Before Saturday’s announcement, the game had been available on iPads since 2014.

On Twitter, Pope said he spent about eight months developing the new port. Most of the work involved updating the user interface and making minor tweaks to make the game playable on smaller screens. “No zooming,” Pope said in response to one question about the UI. “My vision is terrible and I wanted the game to feel natural on a phone so the interface is built around that.”

For those hoping to play Papers, Please on PlayStation and Xbox, Pope had news to share on that topic too. “On track for a console release in 2031,” he joked. In a later tweet, Pope said the mobile version would be a standalone release, but if you already own the game on iPad, you’ll get access for free.

The arrival of Papers, Please on phones will allow a new audience to experience one of the most creative games of the past decade. In Papers, Please, you play as a border control agent for a Soviet Bloc-esque country known as Arstotzka. Gameplay primarily involves you checking the documentation of immigrants who want to enter Arstotzka and looking for discrepancies among all their entry forms. At almost every stage of its story experience, Papers, Please presents the player with moral dilemmas, asking them to consider how someone maintains their humanity in a job that is so frequently heartless.