Hello everybody! Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara) here to share my thoughts on a very intriguing simulation adventure game called Beholder by Warm Lamp Games and Alawar Entertainment. I was given a copy of the game by the developers to do my let’s play series and this review but like with all of my reviews and videos, this has no effect on my opinion of the game.
Beholder is a unique game that puts you in the role of a landlord living in a totalitarian-ruled country in 1984. The main character, Carl Stein, has been appointed manager of a small apartment complex and it’s up to him to carry out the ministry’s orders by spying on his tenants. His actions determine the fates of not only him and his family but also the lives of his tenants as well.
The game is set in a dystopian world and its art style reflects how dark and miserable it is. The characters are shadowy silhouettes and the apartment is rather dingy and not very bright. Each character you move in to your apartment complex has their own quest that you’re able to complete. And each story is unique and range from helping a lonely doctor find love to trying to save Carl’s daughter from sickness. Very few of the stories have happy endings and your actions determine how the stories will end.
The game is played in a side view of the apartment complex and is set up in a similar fashion to This War of Mine or Fallout Shelter (think 2D simulation game if you’re unfamiliar with those games). You can repair and move in new tenants at any time but it’s recommended that you wait until you have the money or until you’re given a mission to do so, that way you always have room for more people/quests.
Your main objective is to spy on your tenants to learn as much about them as possible. You can do this by talking to each tenant or sneaking into their apartment to search through their personal belongings or set up surveillance cameras. There are some government directives that make owning certain things or performing certain actions illegal and punishable by arrest (Death). These directives are pretty crazy and can range from simply owning jeans or eating apples to singing in front of a ministry official.
This game is incredibly dark and makes me glad that I don’t live in a totalitarian society myself. But it’s an intriguing and a rather insightful game that makes you realize that real life could be so much worse than they are.
Beholder is definitely one of the best simulation games that I’ve had the pleasure of playing this year. If you’re in the mood for something dystopian then you should definitely check it out; I highly recommend it.
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Happy gaming folks! – Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara) out!