Organs Please is what you get if you mash together Papers Please and the movie Soylent Green. In the not so far dystopian future, humanity has resorted to eating other humans due to a severe food shortage. And in this lovely situation, you are playing as the person responsible for deciding who gets to be eaten, who gets to be used as fuel, and who gets to live and work.
The game’s mechanic is very simple, a series of clueless individuals line up at your window and you get to choose to pull a lever to send them into the warehouse to be harvested, push a button to send them directly to the furnace to be used as fuel, or stamp their card and let them to contribute to society.
Each individual has three stats, Intelligence, Stress Tolerance, and Endurance. These stats contribute to the overall Survivability rating if high, and detract if low. The survivability rating determines how much government support you receive so it is in your best interest to keep it high. The stats also determine how effective they are as workers. Low stress tolerance and endurance means workers fatigue much more quickly and will need breaks. Fatigued employees may end up becoming food themselves or become very unhappy and send in reports to the government.
The game mixes things up by adding in factions and factions quests. For example, one faction may want you to admit an individual but another may want them kept out. Doing faction quests and admitting faction members are definitely worth it as you gain massive bonuses for each faction employee as your standing with them increases.
The game also throws in new mechanics every once in a while to keep things fresh. One event had you watch out for suspected terrorists. You can scan them with an X-ray device and if you spot a bomb, you can send them directly into the furnace. Failing to do so would result in the warehouse being damaged, which slows down the efficiency of your workers in terms of how it affects the game.
In between admitting people at the window, you can switch to the warehouse tab to manage your employees and meet orders from all the factions. The general order of building the ark from the government must be met but other factions may request supplies as well. You assign employees to harvest a specific organ from the people you send to the warehouse and since you won’t have enough employees to do everything in the beginning, you have to pick and choose which orders to fulfill. Completing orders earns you money which can then be used to upgrade the warehouse.
After completing a series of days, the game shows a humorous cutscene. There is a general overarching narrative to the game. It’s a outlandish combination of lighthearted and grotesque. While the narrative is pretty light, it’s enough to keep the player invested in what is happening.
The game play gets pretty hectic. You need to balance having enough people sent to the warehouse to harvest organs, sent to the furnace to fuel the warehouse, and admit people in to increase the survivability rating while making sure to keep each faction happy enough. Sometimes you may need to admit a faction member with low stats because the benefits may offset the decrease in survivability. Sometimes you may need to send someone with decent stats into the furnace because you ran out of fuel. Since the game is timed, it becomes pretty hectic in a fun way.
Overall, Organs Please is a pretty fun game if you don’t stop to think about what you’re actually doing. The future seems to be a messed up place for food according to movies, from the roach bars in Snowpiercer to eating other people on Soylent Green, at least we won’t have to deal with annoying Yelp reviewers. Or will we?!