Contraband Police

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a game by Crazy Rocks
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 6.5/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 8.7/10 - 6 votes
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See also: Simulator Games, Professional Simulator Games
Contraband Police
Contraband Police
Contraband Police

A border patrol simulator set in a communist country, Contraband Police puts players in the shoes of a border inspector in a zone riddled with smugglers. Through careful examinations and detailed checks, players must conclude if someone is allowed entrance to the country, or if they must be immediately detained.

Developed by Crazy Rocks, this interesting game uses a premise we’ve heard before, although the 3D setting and car mechanics help to innovate the concept. Despite some minor shortcomings, Contraband Police looks to be a promising game that appeals to a dedicated player base.

Documents, if you please

At first glance, both the gameplay and the setting of Contraband Police might look very familiar to Papers, Please. While that videogame had a somewhat linear plot, Contraband Police feels more like a simulator game. Most of the time, players will have to check the vehicles of people trying to get into their country.

The main objective of Contraband Police is to detect potential smugglers. Whereas in Papers, Please players had to be on the lookout for fake papers, the objective here is a bit more complex. Players will have to dismantle cars, checking under every nook and cranny to make sure that nothing dangerous is getting past their borders.

A bit of context

The game is set in the communist country of Acaristan in the early 80s. More specifically, you work in the Karikatka border crossing. This area is a popular crossing point, with smugglers being a common occurrence around these parts. As a border patrol inspector, your job is to make sure that every vehicle that crosses the border is clean.

If you suspect that someone might be hiding something illicit in their cars, you have full authority to dismantle them to expose their contraband. After checking that everything is fine with their documents, players will need to check their reference handbook to spot any possible discrepancies with travelers’ cargo.

This aspect of the game is quite similar to Papers, Please, yet Contraband Police manages to feel like a more detailed simulation than its 2D counterpart. However, 3D graphics aren’t necessarily an upgrade, and Contraband Police is the perfect example of that.

Lost in translation

While most gameplay mechanics in Contraband Police are solid, the same can’t be said for its visuals and overall presentation. To put it succinctly, the game feels sterile, with a decided lack of polish that makes the entire product feel cheap.

Character models look like they belong in a twenty years old game. That’s especially disappointing when the environments don’t look nearly as bad as the characters do. Vehicle models are adequate, with lots of moving parts that can be closely inspected.

For a game that takes such obvious inspiration in Papers, Please, the lack of a soundtrack is something that has to be seen to be believed. There’s not much to hear in this game, other than the rumble of the engines and some distant birds. This audio void can get jarring very quickly, and the game could have been improved even by using some basic tunes.


Contraband Police is a promising game that appeals to a very niche market. The stale visuals and nonexistent soundtrack might look awful at first sight, but its fun gameplay loop will keep you hooked for a while. All in all, this is a nice little game that should appeal to a very niche market.


  • Checking travelers and finding smugglers can be very satisfying
  • Detailed vehicle models
  • Fun gameplay


  • Stale visuals
  • Terrible sound design

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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