I spent the better part of Sunday night and my Monday gaming time playing Papers, Please and found myself rather pleased. I enjoyed the early nineties PC-game feel that it had. The chunky graphics, the overly complicated interface, all that was missing was a book for me to check to answer questions to prove that I paid for the game[ref]Which, technically I did not. A nice person gave me a copy on Steam.[/ref].
The first thing I did when I started playing was look for where the keyboard shortcuts were and there were none. That they were instead in-game upgrades that required a bit of budgeting and forethought, but not too much as to make them too difficult to get, was a brilliant twist on the type of things in games that we normally take for granted. As someone who avoids using the mouse as much as possible the fact that I had to utilize it so much made for a nice challenge[ref]Excluding the shooting parts. I did not like those.[/ref]
The keyboard-shortcut upgrades in Papers, Please are a great example of how a game designer can do whatever they want and are not bound to the rules set in stone by previous successful games.