Beholder: The Creepy Game You’ll Become Addicted To

Beholder
Beholder

I like to think that I’ve played almost every genre of video game out there, however, I finally came across something I’ve never played before. Beholder is a casual game where you play as Carl, the newly appointed landlord of a state run apartment building. Your job isn’t just fixing stuff when it breaks and evicting bad people, oh no, you have to spy on them, plant cameras in their apartments, profile their habits and report illegal stuff to the state. I can say it’s not like anything I’ve played before, but I’m now firmly addicted to it and here’s why you will be too:

Too Many Choices

In Beholder, you have to make choices to continue. These usually revolve around getting certain items (even illegal ones) for your family, what types of cameras to plant in apartments, reselling illegal goods for tenants, reporting good people because the state told you to, working for the resistance, lying, calling call girls for tenants, assassinating generals, and … well, the list goes on and on. Depending on the choices that you make, the game has hundreds of different outcomes. So far, I’ve gotten shot, arrested, stabbed, beat up… and I’ve only played a few days.

The great thing is that when you start over, you can just make a different decision and have a completely different type of game. It all depends on what you do. However, there are so many different outcomes, that it’s easy to sit and play this game for hours and never realize it.

Graphics

The graphics crack me up. I don’t think that the developers could have chosen a better design for Beholder. Everything is dark and dirty looking, even the people are just black masses with white eyes and other small details. It’s just downright creepy – but funny at the same time. It adds to the whole air of the game being just depressing. However, when you zoom in on anything in a specific room, it is pretty detailed as far as the furniture and such goes.

Gameplay

An overview of the building.
An overview of the building.

As the Beholder, you monitor everyone in your building. When you have cameras installed, you can simply watch the screen and click on any illegal or profiling behaviors. If you don’t, you have to search their apartments for items or peek through their keyholes to see what they are doing. You also have to question people in the building about other characters, report back to the ministry, install propaganda, repair items, repair whole apartments, decide who to let move into your building, save up money to save your daughter and try to escape the country if you have to. There is literally no shortage of things that you have to do in the game.

Just Being a Bad Guy

Did I mention yet that you can steal from your tenants too? Oh, I didn’t? Well, yeah, there’s that. Of course, you can get in trouble for stealing if you do it too much. You also get in trouble for being caught in their apartments when they come home so you really have to watch for them to arrive back at the building or come up the elevator. You can be a huge jerk if you really want to and plant illegal items in their homes, then reporting them and having them arrested. If you really wanted to be a jerk that is.

Being a Good Guy

However, you can also decide to help the resistance. If you do, you can help good people escape the country, have war criminals (who are state heroes) killed in the alley way of your building, get the illegal medicine your daughter needs to stay alive and things of that nature. The problem is, eventually you come up on a review and you’re arrested. It’s really comical when you’re arrested too.

Characters

The characters in Beholder are really well done. There are some that you’ll instantly like and feel bad for, and then there are those that you can’t wait to see arrested. (The cops will beat the tar out of them when they are arrested… but they do that to everyone they arrest.) The writers for this game did a great job of ensuring that you feel strongly about the characters in one way or another, which is great. Of course, it makes it harder to make some decisions against a character if you like them or vice versa.

Is There a Wiki?

Oh thank gawd yes there is. There were several times I got stuck and had to look something up. Apparently, I am not the only person who has too much time on their hands when it comes to gaming. You’ll find all the help that you need on the Beholder wiki, but the good thing is that it doesn’t mean any type of spoilers or problems, as each different decision that you make will just change the ending of the game slightly.

Overall

No matter what type of game you love, I highly recommend Beholder as something different, something out of your comfort zone. You’ll love it just as much as I do and end up playing for hours, just being a complete ass or being a good guy and paying for it if you can’t escape the country in time. Either way, Beholder was beyond worth the $10 I paid for it on Steam.

Trying not to melt away in the heat of Oklahoma, MD Weems has been a writer and artist for over 20 years. Her written works over all types of gaming have been used in college level game design textbooks as well as in US Patents over virtual character design. She has worked with gaming companies all over the world and is even cool enough to have her own Korean cartoon character.
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