How to Become a Border Agent in Contraband Police

By Frankie Stein

  1. Overview of Contraband Police

  2. Gameplay Mechanics and Features

  3. Graphics and Audio

  4. Storyline and Plot

  5. Pros and Cons of the game

  6. Final Verdict on Contraband Police review


Overview of Contraband Police

Work as a border agent for Contraband Police in Acaristan. My job is to prevent smugglers and weapon dealers from entering the country. I have a set of tools that include a folder of regulations, a flashlight, a clipboard, and a gun. Sometimes, I have to leave my post and use my gun to enforce the law. My job is similar to the game Papers, Please.


Despite being a bit buggy, Contraband Police is a surprisingly popular game on Steam that takes place in a Soviet-style totalitarian state during the 1980s. As a newly appointed border agent, my job is to search cars for contraband items such as cigarettes and drugs that are cleverly hidden in places like the front grille or ceramic chickens. Unfortunately, my co-workers are not very helpful, and sometimes take smoke breaks while I do all the hard work.



The game has a hypnotic effect. I start off in my small camper and discover a line of cars waiting at the border. I check each driver’s documentation to ensure they comply with the regulations as I let them through one by one. The game will catch me off guard with unexpected scenarios – for example, a driver might speed through the border and into Acaristan, and I’ll have to chase after them in my work truck. Alternatively, a group of rebels might attack my border post, and my colleagues will become useful as we fight back.


Developers often claim that choices in their game are important, but sometimes players are given choices that don’t actually have an impact on the outcome. This is known as the “illusion of choice,” where both options lead to the same ending. Games like Telltale and Fallout 4 have examples of this. However, Contraband Police is different because it allows for meaningful choices through straightforward gameplay interactions.


Gameplay Mechanics and Features

The game Contraband Police was developed by Crazy Rocks, a studio consisting of five members from Warsaw, Poland, which was established in 2015. It is set in a fictional communist nation called Acaristan, which heavily relies on its metallurgy industry. The previous leader of the border police was dismissed for working with smugglers, henceforth, you are given the task of taking charge of the entry points as a newly appointed border guard. Your duties include conducting inspections, ensuring security, and maintaining the border post, all while working within a limited budget. There is a civil war happening between the communist government and the Blood Fist rebels. It is challenging to handle, and support from the government is scarce. You can only rely on the money you earn.


Your main task will be to inspect cars and cargo at the border gate, and check for inconsistencies in the accompanying documents. You’ll be equipped with a variety of tools including crowbars, knives, pitchforks, and axes, each of which serves a specific purpose on different parts of the car, albeit with some overlap. For spotting contraband hidden on vehicles or their cargo, you can use a UV flashlight to detect “snake marks.” Your duty folder is the most critical asset you have, and it’s the key to your operation. The small booklet combines instructions, reference materials, and lore in a single item.



At the border inspection area, you have to make many decisions related to your cash needs. Every night, you are charged for the maintenance of your belongings. If you don’t have enough money, you will go into debt which you must repay within a day to avoid being fired. Performing a perfect inspection will increase your income and experience. Apart from this, you cannot sell illegal items, but some motorists are willing to trade basic goods like coffee or toilet paper. By identifying good deals, you can earn additional money, and you can distract yourself and get a good deal in the casino game live and earn real money.


Graphics and Audio

If you catch smugglers, they may offer you money to ignore their crime. However, accepting bribes is not a wise decision. Smugglers vary in the severity of their crimes, some carrying large amounts of illegal substances while others may have only a small amount of alcohol. It’s worth considering whether arresting someone for a small offense is necessary before taking action. If you believe it is, then proceed accordingly. Let’s uphold the law properly!



There are different emergencies that need to be addressed. One example is when smugglers attempt to escape after being caught. You have two options: you may shoot them without consequence if you notice them trying to run away, or you can turn on the sirens, engage in a pursuit, apprehend them, and receive a substantial reward for sending them to the lithium mines. When their entry is refused, vehicles must turn around at the country’s entrance and exit. This creates nerve-racking situations when denying entry, as you may worry if the individuals will attempt to flee.


In addition to other emergencies in the game, there are shootouts with drug dealers who come down the hill next to your home base. These situations allow you to use the weapons you purchased from Vladimir, the general store owner. Although combat is not exceptional, it is satisfactory, and there are only a few types of guns, including sniper rifles, shotguns, and automatic rifles, which all have unique characteristics.


Storyline and Plot

Sometimes, you can choose to help people out of kindness. For instance, there was a man who needed to enter the country to rescue his family from debt. However, the information on his documents was incorrect. Since he did not carry any contraband, I chose to let him go. The next day, I received a thank-you letter with money from him. He had some cash left after bailing his family out of the debt. On another occasion, I allowed a man to enter to find his children during a refugee crisis, and the next day, I received a letter from him. The letter, which included a wholesome crayon drawing from the kids, was worth the financial and moral cost of incurring a fee for allowing an unauthorized party into the country.


Although Contraband Police may sound similar to Papers Please, it should not be considered a mere imitation. The game is actually more lighthearted. For example, during one of my initial inspections, I discovered alcohol smuggled inside nuclear waste barrels, which amused me.



Another significant difference is that you can take breaks from your post to run errands such as selling smugglers to the quarry or buying new tools from Vlad at the communist Target. You can even explore the map and search for buried drug money in the forests of Acaristan. Despite the presence of the communist surveillance state, you have the freedom to do what you want. However, keep in mind that there are many automobiles waiting to be inspected at the gate.


Pros and Cons of the game

While you’re away from the border, your main focus will be completing assignments. These missions will be communicated to you through a phone call from a superior while you’re in your office. The tasks range from solving a murder mystery at an inn, to tracking down suspicious individuals, to engaging in a high speed chase, or even searching for someone in a spooky graveyard. These assignments offer unique and exciting experiences.


Many assignments require you to choose between supporting the rebels or the government. This decision can be difficult since there are valid arguments for both sides. While the government may appear corrupt and oppressive, some individuals may have a positive experience with it. Conversely, if you are instructed to return to a small trailer instead of a proper apartment, you may question your allegiance. However, supporting the rebels could result in innocent lives being lost in the effort to overthrow the system. Are you prepared to make that sacrifice? You’re going to have to make some difficult decisions regarding whether to bring down the government or eliminate the rebels. The responsibility of making these choices falls solely on you.



The world in Contraband Police is very realistic, with other cars driving around and the occasional surprise attack. The game can create a great atmosphere, especially at night. I received a mission over the phone just before I was about to head to my shelter. I had to travel down old dirt roads with the radio on, feeling slightly uneasy but excited at the same time. The game’s music is also very mysterious and captivating, similar to what you would expect from the X-Files.


While driving, you will come across several fascinating places like abandoned ruins or an old hotel that make the world feel real. These points of interest, when combined with the atmospheric elements, give a sense of adventure every time you stop your car to explore. The game includes small details like an animation for winding down the window every time a player enters the inspection zone, which adds to the realism of the 80s setting.


Final Verdict on Contraband Police review

Contraband Police has some moments that are off-putting and self-defeating. During the tutorial, the guide speaking over the loudspeaker reveals what will happen next, such as a driver having drugs on them. This timing issue is forgivable but noticeable.



The user expressed that a good mission for a game involves solving a murder mystery by narrowing down the suspects using evidence and testimonies. However, the story of the mission stumbles at the end when the game provides a handwritten, incriminating note from the killer that is signed with their name. The user initially thought it was a deception, but it was not, and the quest ended that way. I never experienced that disappointment again except for this particular quest, which was an exception.


Contraband Police is a charming puzzle game that presents various inspection scenarios and offers players plenty of choices that affect the game world. Despite the occasional simple choice presented by massive faction symbols, it’s the little decisions that truly set this game apart. These smaller choices require careful consideration and add to the game’s unique appeal.