Never has it been so entertaining and frustrating to be a government stooge… I imagine.
Beholder: Complete Edition (including the Blissful Sleep DLC) by Warm Lamp Games is a building management game that puts you in the shoes of Carl Stein, new building manager and reluctant employee of a totalitarian government.
Krushvice 6 Where Dreams Are Made Of
Carl moves into the Class D apartment block on Krushvice 6 street with his family; wife Anna (she relentlessly wants something), son Patrick (who doesn’t want to work in the mine. Too good for it apparently, typical teenager) and daughter Martha (she’s actually alright to be honest).
Peaking is acceptable in games right…
You arrive to see the old building manager being taken away which does reinforce the stakes of failure and are then introduced to your boss, the generally unlikable Bruno Hempf.
Carl’s job is to spy on all the residents, profiling and even having them arrested for various illegal activities that are dictated by the state.
You can fit camera’s, peak through keyholes and even rifle through peoples belongings after breaking in.
Breaking in can be beneficial for planting or finding evidence, but don’t get caught by the tenant as there can be dire consequences.
Frame the Elderly?
Beholder: Complete Edition has a useful merchant outside; the monocled and top hatted Nathan Kehler, to buy goods from that you can trade for favours or use to frame the lovely elderly couple in apartment 3.
Directive no. 6045 – It is illegal to wear or sell jeans… bare ass it is.
Catching a tenant committing an illegal act gives you the chance to record this info on your dossier of the person, ready to be used for yours or the governments needs.
The controls are explained mostly at the start but takes a bit of getting used to, I often had to check the menu to confirm what I wanted to press was right as the game is timed.
You can pause and fast forward time to help make the most of your time with several missions active at once.
It’s important to balance your activities between doing your duty to the state and helping people, as you can receive rewards from tenants that help keep your kids in school (not the mines) and pay for life saving treatment.
I had to take a bribe from an impostor just to pay bills and buy groceries, as my wife just kept on asking. At least candy for the kids is cheap, though they can’t apparently live on it.
I did much better on my fifth or so run, as the first few times I struggled to know how to get evidence for the first mission. This resulted in me being dragged away by the police and the cutscene informing me my family wouldn’t see the end of the year, that better than the mines son?
Time management and talking to the residents before they leave for the day is important for finding out information about their neighbours and they all need favours in return.
Beholder: Complete Edition makes it satisfying to complete tasks, even when you’re evicting the decent tenants and giving you a real sense of grief when you haven’t got the money for your child’s treatment.
Enjoyable Art Style
Your game view is a cross section of the house with a 2.5D art style that I really enjoyed, giving the game a bit more depth that just having horizontal movement.
The world feels grim and oppressive, really giving a feeling of being a government drone whilst balancing your duties to your family.
To help the world building the characters in Beholder: Complete Edition even speak in a nonsensical language making it feel like you’re in Twin Peak’s Black Lodge.
It’s the most fun I’ve had with a management sim in a long time and even away from the game I’m worried for my families safety… yes I know it’s not real.
- The atmosphere of the world
- Varied interlinking quests between tenants
- Nice challenge with different ways to play
- Good replay value
- The spying on people without their knowledge
- Not everything is explained at the start
- Being a government cog in the machine
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The State Needs You!
- Overall - 7.5/107.5/10
An interesting management sim with consequences for your decisions.
Great art style, with uniquely rendered characters.
Offers replay value to see how else you can conform or defy.
Human, friend to the animals and serial procrastinator.
Pessimistic Pompey fan and chocolate addict.
@Zeus_Eagle on Twitter