One of the greatest indie games of all time just got a massive surprise update

Papers Please
(Image credit: Lucas Pope)

Instant indie classic Papers, Please turns ten years old this year, and it's just gotten a massive surprise update with a "near-total rewrite" of its underlying code.

Developer Lucas Pope describes (opens in new tab) the new 1.4 update as a "near-total rewrite that I expect to fix old problems and create new ones in equal measure." The underlying game engine has been converted to Unity, which Pope says (opens in new tab) "is a major change that will hopefully fix a number of systemic issues that have been building up over the years on modern OSes and hardware."

In concrete terms, this update should make the game more compatible on a wider range of machines and will allow the game to run at higher frame rates - previously, it was capped around 60 frames per second regardless of what your monitor supported. There've also been a ton of bug fixes and new Korean, Turkish, and Czech localizations.

Pope promises in a big, bold heading that "there is no new game content in this update." So why go to all this trouble for such a minor set of changes? The engine transfer started as part of the game's port to iPhones and Android devices last year, and the consequent fixes are now benefiting players of the original PC version, too.

If you're not familiar with Papers, Please, it puts you in the role of an immigration inspector in a fictional Eastern European country that's just emerged from a war with a neighboring region. You have spend increasingly limited time taking increasingly draconian measures to separate legitimate refugees from spies and terrorists.

The combo of grim aesthetic, occasionally heart-wrenching narrative, and stressful gameplay instantly made Papers, Please an icon of indie gaming in 2013, and there's still nothing quite like it today. That's why it made our list of the 100 best games of the decade.

If you're looking for something new, check out our guide to the most notable upcoming indie games for 2023.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.