The game can be played for free at dukope.com.
As in Papers, Please, the protagonist is an unnamed man who is chosen to do a job for a totalitarian state that is recovering from a lengthy war. However, in The Republia Times, the player-character is the Editor in Chief of the state controlled newspaper in Republia, which has recently ended a war with Antegria. The Editor in Chief's family is held by the government, and their privileges and continued survival are contingent on the Editor in Chief performing adequately.
As the game continues, the wire service is hijacked by dissidents who instruct the Editor in Chief to start running damaging stories in order to increase support for the rebellion. If he complies, the rebellion is successful but his family is killed and the new state of Democria tasks him with producing the same propaganda that the Republian Ministry of Media did. If he does not, at the end of 11 days he is told his post is no longer required, and his family have been killed off.
Several primitive storylines play out in the headlines of stories that the Editor in Chief chooses from, including the marriage and divorce of two famous actors, the increasingly clear unpreparedness of the Republian military, the defection of celebrities to Antegria, and increasingly tumultuous weather as the rebellion gains steam.
Gameplay consists of dragging different wire stories from the left side of the screen to the newspaper template on the right. New stories appear as the clock counts down toward press time. The Ministry of Media tasks the Editor in Chief with both expanding readership and increasing loyalty, while the rebels ask the Editor in Chief to run damaging stories while still increasing readership.
The game's challenge is derived from trying to deduce what effect the different news stories will have (both on readership and Republian loyalty) and making the most of the news stories presented for any given day.
Gameplay always ends on Day 11, because ,,Great and Honorable Leader" decides that printing paper is old technology and Ministry of Media focuses on online communications.
The visual style of the game deliberately imitates the appearance of early Macintosh computers.
Comparisons with Papers, PleaseEdit
As in Papers, Please, the protagonist is a nameless bureaucrat tasked with competing against the clock in order to fulfill his mandate. In both games, the protagonist's country has recently emerged from a lengthy and bloody war, the protagonist is responsible for the welfare of his family, the protagonist is approached by rebels intent on toppling the regime, and the visual style imitates obsolete computers.
The Republia Times is a much simpler game than Papers, Please, with less ethical complexity and a more cynical conclusion.