Beholder, developed by Warm Lamp Games, has hit the Steam marketplace. In Beholder, you play as a landlord whose duty to his totalitarian government is to spy on his tenants. I wasn’t sure how much I was going like this game as 2D click and pointer’s were never my forte, but Beholder pulled it off incredibly. The main objective is to spy on your tenants and eavesdrop on their conversations. You must bug their apartments with security cameras while they’re out of the apartment, search through their stuff for whatever can threaten the State, and profile them for your superiors. You must also report anyone violating the laws or plotting subversive activities against the State to the authorities (who then beat the crap out of the filthy swine!).
As time goes on and you repair apartments, you can get more tenants! You can have a maximum of 6 apartments and there are 20 tenants you can choose from. That’s where this game really shines. Each tenant has their own fleshed out personality and story. I was personally at a crossroads when I was ordered to evict my favorite tenant by the state. Don’t get me wrong, this man was plotting against the motherland, he had to go, but I’ll never forget all the times he would give me stuff that my family needed. It’s easy to treat these tenants like people you know, some of them actually remind me of real neighbors I’ve had.
The hardest part about this game is drawing a line between the objective (spying on tenants) and choice. You can choose to be honest to your tenants and tell them what you’re really doing, how you’re ordered to spy on them. You can make illegal deals with tenants to sell prohibited goods. You can be a real family man and do all of the side quests to help your family. You ultimately have free choice, but every choice has consequences and if you cross the government and they find out, you will be replaced and let’s just say that’s not good for you or your family’s health. Because there are so many choices, it would make sense that there are multiple endings. This game will take you about 2-3 hours per playthrough, which is why I’ve spent 7 hours on it so far. Definitely pick this one up from Steam. It’s a steal for its 9.99 price tag.