In his eternal attempt to make games that are a bit depressing, Lucas Pope has returned from 48 hour game jam Ludum Dare 33 with Unsolicited. It operates similarly in style and play to Papers, Please, but instead of approving access to the a war torn country you’re sending out unsolicited – oh! – mail. Sweepstake ‘winners’, charity donation requests, that sort of thing. It’s about checking and rechecking data and you can play it completely for free on his site.
Obviously it’s nowhere near the complexity of Papers Please in terms of narrative or meta-game, but it does fulfil that same role of challenging you to complete a task quickly and effectively. It’s also got that slightly sad tone that, while it put me off Papers, Please, is very definitely the entire point. The job is menial, you are nobody and if anything you’re only making the world worse. The theme of this Ludum Dare was, after all, You Are The Monster.
I really like the aesthetic on display here, even if Lucas has used it before. The blocky colours manage to feel realistic for the advertising documents you’re dealing with while still maintaining that grimy feel Pope has made his own. The music is the same and having the intro theme looping through my headphones the entire time I’ve been writing this has made me thoroughly melancholy.
Let us know how far you got in the comments.