Lucas Pope’s Papers, Please ($7.99) has been an incredibly successful and well-regarded game, which is doubly surprising when you consider how somber it is and that it tackles some very charged political themes. It’s not hard to see, though, how the game’s theme and storyline make for a strong film, so I wasn’t surprised to see a teaser trailer for an upcoming official short film adaptation. Written by Liliya and Nikita Ordynskiy and directed by the latter, the film adaptation of Papers, Please seems to have captured the game’s mood and tone very well. I love how muted the colors are and how it really feels like the game has come to life.
In case you don’t know anything about the game, Papers, Please has you playing a border control officer in a dystopian country, and you have to decide which immigrants make it through the border and who don’t. While it sounds tedious (and to a degree, it intentionally is so), the game involved you trying to decide whether those immigrants are who they say they are or whether they are “criminals," all the while trying to balance ethics with the reality of feeding your family.
Stills from Nikita and Liliya's film. Love everything about it. pic.twitter.com/Hym1P2v9uj
— Lucas Pope (@dukope) June 20, 2017
As you can see from the stills in Pope’s tweet, the short film appears to have a tight focus on the paper processing just like the game, and I hope that’s the case because part of the game’s “charm" is precisely that tight focus on the man behind the glass. No word yet about release date and distribution, but I’m definitely looking forward to watching it.