Papers, Please, the border control simulator released for Mac and Windows in 2013, is coming to iPad on December 12, according to developer Lucas Pope on Twitter.
The port is only coming to iPad for the time being, though an Android release is possible for the future. The game works in portrait mode only and on all models of iPad, though it is “a little tight with the touch targets.” Papers, Please will cost $6 in the App Store at launch, going up to $8 after the first weekend.
A PlayStation Vita port was also announced in August 2014, but no release date has yet been given. Pope admitted that he may have announced the Vita version too early, not knowing exactly how long it would take.
The game, rendered in old-school pixels, is a depressing and harrowing simulation of being an immigration agent at the border of a fictional, Soviet-like dystopia, Arstotzka. Your meager salary, which must be divided up for basic expenses like food and heat for your family, is based on how many people you let through the border, but you are penalized for allowing people through with improper paperwork.
As the game progresses, the rules that govern who can pass through the border become increasingly byzantine, ratcheting up the stress as you go through growing piles of passports, visas, and work permits in this unique and interesting puzzle.
Pope’s next project, Return of the Obra Dinn, is a first-person mystery game that also utilizes a dated aesthetic, this time hearkening back to the 1-bit rendering of old Mac games. No release date has been given yet, but a playable demo is available to download for Mac or Windows.