ICE and Border Patrol are for fascist failsons that flunked out of cop-school. Now, being a border customs agents in a fictional Soviet country in the ’80s is a job for real men (and women). That’s exactly what you do in the
Contraband Police demo.
Your predecessor got canned for cutting deals with smugglers. You are expected to uphold the honor of the border guards of Acarist People’s Republic. This means letting a vehicle into the post, checking if the driver’s documents are in order, and looking for contraband.
I yoink’d this image from Steam since I didn’t have one handy. This is your work folder, which shows the driver documentation and your notebook. The latter is useful for checking whether the stamps are correct or the car weight is right, yadda yadda. Unlike in Papers, Please, you have a tool that allows you to automatically check whether stuff like names match. It’s not infinite use as your character gets tired. And if you’re good, you could mark mismatched data yourself before denying entry.
One big thing in Contraband Police demo is that you can get into the vehicles to look around in. A regular cabin will have like three spots you can slide around seamlessly, and you can enter the backs of trucks and vans. You also have tools to check for contraband: UV light to detect markings, and a checklist to see whether the cargo matches the declaration.
Once you detect contraband, you go buckwild on the object. Different stuff needs different tools to hack through, and that’s where item durability comes in. You can’t hack through a truck fender with a knife, and you need an axe for wooden crates. Oh, your tools broke?
Well, good thing that this people’s republic is operating on some neolib principles where you get money rewards for each car checked correctly, but those funds are then used to pay maintenance and buy new tools. I suppose that’s one way to introduce tension into the game, just like the ludicrous daily wages and expenses in Papers, Please.
But wait, there’s more! You’re not just stuck in the guard post, you have a whole border region you can drive around in your police truck. Yes, this game has driving – and shooting. Smugglers aren’t all mom-and-pop shops transporting trace amounts of cocaine, there are powerful criminal interests behind them, and those guys get guns!
In conclusion, Contraband Police demo offers but a glimpse at the full game – and it is a fun glimpse. Crazy Rocks is studio dedicated to making simulators, subject matter be damned, and this will hopefully turn out to be yet another Very Positive on their tally.