The age of the video rental store is at a close. Blockbusters are the stuff of “remember when” photo essays and ghost towns; a blue and yellow sign of the times. Even independent stores that have long demanded patronage are closing their doors, murdered by Redbox and Netflix.
It is in this climate that a team of game makers asks: “Have you ever wanted to play Papers, Please! without the papers and with 100% more video rentals?”
Videos, Please takes on several elements of the game that it is clearly referencing: you are in a totalitarian government, you have mouths to feed, you must rent videos to save your family from starvation. The music speaks of videogame oppression, the colors sparse.
In its main point of difference, in Videos, Please you’re not the face of the bureaucracy behind the counter, but rather a customer. You must select from several videos (from “Bloc-Buster”), featuring a wide array of Hollywood stars and scenarios, to try and please as many of your family members as possible.
Why does your family starve if you choose the Ryan Gosling feature about birthdays when you should’ve chosen the Sandra Bullock comedy about pirates? The jackbooted video rental clerk says something about hope, but still demands you pick your videos in increasingly shortened amounts of time. Choose quickly and you all might survive this winter, comrade.
You can find Videos, Please on itch.io.