Papers, Please meets dystopian Britain in Not Tonight
Brexit, Please Format: PC | Publisher: No More robots | Developer: PANICBAM | release: Q3 2018 | Players: 1
“W ork hard, stay out of trouble, and we might let you stay in the UK.” We’re going to be completely honest with you, Not Tonight presents a somewhat disturbing worst-case scenario of the United Kingdom’s decision to abandon the European Union.
This ‘post-brexit thriller’ has you taking on the role of a European citizen seeking asylum in the country they once comfortably called home. Trapped in Relocation Block B–a bleak, segregated mess of high-rise flats – you are forced to make a decision: find yourself deported, or take on your new designated role of ‘Bouncer’ in service of the city. The latter is preferable in this scenario, and so you are set to work managing the entrances to a variety of establishments and destinations across London.
Fans of Lucas Pope’s Papers, Please will immediately get to grips with the style and mechanics of Not Today. As people queue to enter a place of business, it is your responsibility to let them in or turn them away depending on a variety of criteria. This can range from the relatively easy – checking date of births on IDS – to more complex tasks like verifying hologram authenticities, expiry dates and nationalities. As you can probably imagine, you’ll encounter elements such as racial profiling and blackmail as the game begins to scale up in tension and complexity in its later stages.
At the heart of all of this are the moral quandaries that you’ll be thrown up against. The better you do in your job, the more comfortable and luxurious your lifestyle will become – preparing you for a better future. But at what cost? If you spot someone doing something that they shouldn’t be, will you throw them into the grasp of the marauding Albion First political party? Or will you risk your own life to help them out of a tight spot? It’s these decisions that will compel you through the experience.
Not Tonight is provocative by its very nature. But contained within its web of political messaging – it is incredibly anti-brexit, if you haven’t guessed – is the echo of somewhat heartier British qualities, a cynicism and humour that creates an excellent dichotomy between the bleak situation and the fun you have when trapped within it. “What lengths will you go to survive Britain on the verge of collapse?” is a question Not Tonight asks, and it’s certainly an interesting one.
In many ways, it’s a microcosm of the heartache and pain Papers, Please navigated so excellently as it stuck you on the literal border between life or death. Whether Not Tonight can achieve something similar remains to be seen, or for that matter, whether it even wants to – we get the feeling that it instead may be perfectly content with putting the mirror up against a decision the country is currently working its way through.
as you through through Not Tonight you’ll come up against tales of human tragedy, corruption and exploitation. Which way you choose judge these stories will land you in different places.
Above: Not Tonight is certainly going to make some headlines, but it’s also going to be worth every one of them. it’s fun, smartly written and incredibly provocative.