Beholder – Family man, Landlord, Spy

Beholder Review
2017-01-17

Beholder is a 2D moral choice, spying, and time strategy game where you play as a landlord, created by the developer Warm Lamp Games.

Every Choice Has a Consequence

You play as Carl Stein. Carl has been assigned to a new apartment complex by the State. In this totalitarian society, the landlord takes orders from the “State”. In addition to all of this, Carl has been injected with a drug that eliminates his need for sleep. This allows you to keep a constant eye on your tenants. It is your choice to follow orders, or to find ways around them. Every choice has a consequence.

In my second play through, I decided to help one of the tenants instead of follow the State’s orders. A series of events took place and ended up with me face down on the floor with a bullet in my skull. Such is life as a landlord for the State.

On top of these orders the State gives you, you also have a family. Your wife(Anna Stein), your son(Patrick Stein), and your daughter(Martha Stein) will all ask you for favors or have request all while serving the State. Glory to the State!

As you go through daily life as a landlord, you’ll need to select new tenants and eventually attempt to evict them. You’ll even be asked to evict good ones! This is where the game gets interesting though, because you’ll need to find ways around this. The game offers quite a few options, which adds to its replayability.

Creepy Aesthetic

Beholder Spying

The game’s art style is definitely unique. The feel and overall world reminds me of Papers, Please! If you played that game, you’ll see many similarities. The shaded, almost sketched look is very creepy. It adds to the atmosphere of the colorless dystopian world they’re trying to get across to the player.

Not many other games have such a fitting art style to the story and world, and only a few come to mind then thinking about it. It’s as if the story came after the art style, because of how fitting it is.

The music of the game also fits within the world, and adds to the creepy nature of the game. Having ominous, slow piano music in the background while you are breaking into your tenants apartments is one of the best gaming moments of the year so far for me. It gives this weird sense of urgency, even though the music itself is slow, you know you have to get out of there before you get caught!

Conclusion

At the price point of $9.99 USD, it’s hard to argue against getting this game. The combination of the story, atmosphere, and music alone is worth the price tag. Warm Lamp Games have definitely made a game I will be revisiting until it’s 100% complete.

If you like freedom in narrative, the world, the creepy aesthetic, and replay-ability, this game is for you. It’s a must-have for any indie game fan, and will be remembered as such. It’ll be exciting to see what Warm Lamp Games will come up with next!

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Comments

  • Ryan

    Glory to Arstotzka, or wherever this title is set. I picked this one up on sale, and your review – plus the comments you scattered in Discord – have been the push I needed to pick this game up properly.

    January 17, 2017 at 7:07 AM
    • Nick Stablein Ryan

      I still plan on playing it a lot more. Im interested to see all the paths I can take through the different tenants I choose!

      January 17, 2017 at 4:08 PM