What is the evil overlord to do with adventurers who aren't trying to stop them from saving the world? According to The Final Boss, a free pencil-pusher, a lot of paperwork.
Papers, Please and Free to Play in Your Browser Over on Itch, The Final Boss Is a fun little simulation of what Elden Ring's Godrick might do in his 9-to-5. Every morning, you wake up to a pile of policy propositions--raising the minimum wage for your minions, building another lava castle, selling off the kidnapped princesses trinkets, that sort of thing.
These can be signed or left as is. You can then send them to your mailbox, spending or gaining funds from the lair's vaults. You'll receive an update at the end of each working day on how your evil empire fared in defense, financial satisfaction, and finances. Your empire will collapse if any of these are too low.
One instance was when I underpaid and overworked my minions only to discover that they had bugged off at the end to start their own empire. My evil lairs were left unguarded when mine collapsed.
The Final Bosss is just one of many delightful experiments that Cakestorm has posted on its Itch page. Although the scale of these projects is small, it does show in some parts. I was able to sign four minimum wage requests at once, but there are only so many proposals. It's a game that can feel the tactile pleasure of shuffling paper in Papers, Please, and if the developer ever decides to take it further, there's a great framework for some satirical fantasy storytelling.
There have been many interesting twists to Papers, Please, adding their own spins to the game's infamous brand of authoritarian bureaucracy. Mind Scanners brought the format to cyberpunk by looking into people's brains in search of deviant behavior, while Dirty Land Thrill Of the Sale casts you as a shady real-estate agent in a loving homage towards Glengarry Glen Ross's '90s classic Glengarry Glen.
Each recognizes the grim joy in routine paperwork. It can embed you in its mundane setting while you scan immigrants for hidden explosives and plug machines into their brains. The Final Bosss could do the same for high fantasy. After all, haven’t we all wondered what World of Warcraft’s kobolds get paid?
As it stands now, The Final Bosss is still a great little distraction. Any game that allows you to draw the cool S on a wooden table is a winner for me.
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