Reviews - Updated on April 15, 2022

Alawar Entertainment has long been associated with “casual” video games. Entertainment designed for the mass consumer under the patronage of this company has been published all over the world for more than fifteen years for all platforms – from mobile phones to consoles. As a rule, the gameplay in them is obscenely simple, and the phrase “game from Alawar” has long been saying that you should not expect any serious tests from such a product. Housewives and children using mobile devices are the main audience.

Beholder is a rather atypical project that will definitely not be to the taste of those who, when choosing the next entertainment for the evening, will focus on the name of the publisher. Do not be deceived – behind a simple (but nevertheless very stylish) picture lies such a furious hardcore that not everyone will be able to get to the end of the game.

Beholder game review

Despite the fact that the whole house fits on one screen, you can easily miss something important from what is happening in the apartments – there are enough other activities.

Big Brother is watching you

You are an apartment building manager who has just been assigned to a new job. Right in front of your eyes, your predecessor is packed into a “black funnel”, and you are given the keys to an apartment in the basement (“Dad, there are three rooms here!”) And quite transparently they hint that the work must be done with high quality and on time, without discussing the orders of the authorities and answering calls on time. Otherwise, there is every chance to repeat the fate of the former manager – such are the rules.

In fact, finding new and serving tenants who have already moved in is just a cover for the real work, which is to keep track of the guests in the house. Hence the strictness towards subordinates.

However, the world of the game is such that there is nothing surprising in this. It’s 1984 (yes, we all love George Orwell), and the country where it’s all happening combines the worst features of the totalitarian regimes that actually existed – the colors and design emphasize this once again. The local reality is just as gray and inexpressive: hard work in factories or mines for ordinary people and various entertainments of those in power and the rich side by side here.

However, no amount of money will help if a citizen violates even one of the many laws that are issued at an alarming rate and can be quite absurd. If the ban on possession of weapons is still quite logical, then how about, for example, a prison term for wearing blue ties?

In short, life in this world is not sugar at all. In order to survive on his own and provide for his family, the main character has to constantly choose between the well-being of loved ones, loyalty to the state, fear of punitive authorities, his own conscience and greed. The choice will not always be easy, but will always have far-reaching consequences…

Beholder game review

Dialogues are better to read than to scroll through – and not only because they are very entertaining. Otherwise, you will not be able to find out some important information.

If you want to live – know how to spin

At first glance, it may seem that Beholder is a typical representative of the same “casual games” in which you need to complete small tasks for residents by clicking on pop-up icons of needs, and the main difficulty will be how to manage to run from one icon to another in the allotted time . In fact, there is no such thing at all – hard time management cannot be found, and although the elements of the “tycoon” are present (settlement of new tenants, renovation of apartments and furniture), they do not make the weather.

Beholder is a quest with a linear course of main events, however, their impact on the life of the protagonist can be completely different depending on how you react to them. You can do your direct duties – set up surveillance cameras in apartments and peep at the residents through the keyhole, search their personal belongings while no one is at home, and then write reports and reports to the ministry.

Found a prohibited item or the camera recorded a violation of the law? After our report, a police squad immediately leaves for the criminal, and a small increase in salary and “Authority” awaits us (this is how they call special glasses that can be used in some dialogues or spent on buying cameras and tools). But soon the main character begins to have big and not very problems.

The wife needs to pay the bills for the apartment and take care of home comfort, and this requires money. The daughter can get sick, the son needs to continue his studies – again expenses. The authorities do not forget to throw one task after another, and after a while local revolutionaries get in touch, who may also need the help of the protagonist. But no one has canceled official duties either – residents will repeatedly ask for some kind of service, and some may not be completely legal.

Beholder game review

A well-written report allows you to get a small increase in salary, but more importantly, you can get rid of “extra” guests with it.

You have to spin like a squirrel in a wheel, trying to please both those and others, and the third. Nevertheless, being good for everyone at once will not work – something or someone will eventually have to be sacrificed. They were carried away by revolutionary activities – the leadership will sense something was wrong and take note of what threatens to end their career with subsequent punishment, up to and including execution. And the revolutionaries are also not kind and fluffy – they can remember who helped them, and who immediately fled to the police. The guests will not tolerate negligence towards their person, and it is with their help that you can get not only money, but also some services in return. Well, you should not forget about the family if you do not want to watch how loved ones die one by one.

Weaklings have no place here

Having failed the first passage (I don’t think that anyone will have the luck to go through the game at least to some kind of ending the first time), you begin to understand that the gameplay here is not at all as simple as it seems. Reporting and reporting on guests, spying on them is practically unnecessary in itself, the true goal is to earn as much money as possible for the sake of the survival of your family. And not a lot of money will be required, but a lot – sometimes it seems that the developers have messed up something and some tasks are simply impossible.

I did not have time to accumulate the required amount on time – you have to make the wrong choice at all, which you want. For example, in the story with a sick daughter, her treatment requires a very tidy sum, so in order to collect it, you will have to go to all sorts of tricks, for example, steal the things of tenants and throw them forbidden items in order to blackmail them later. Of course, you can spend money on something else, forgetting about the health of the child – there is always a choice. True, the consequences of each such decision will not be long in coming.

Beholder game review

It is better not to catch the eye of the guests during the search of their personal belongings – the consequences can be fatal.

Complicating the situation is the fact that the developers, as it turns out, are connoisseurs of “old school” gameplay, which consists, in particular, in the absence of life-simplifying tips, tags and notes. Sometimes a phrase dropped by one of the characters can be decisive, but there are no notes or a diary in the game – you have to write it down yourself or just memorize it. Therefore, the dialogues and descriptions here must be read with the greatest possible attention, and not hastily scrolled through.

However, this occupation is not at all annoying – thanks to the writers and designers who managed to create a rather interesting world inhabited by no less interesting characters. Almost every tenant, for example, has his own story, which can be revealed both through conversation and through careful observation of him.

The ending of the game can be different – depending on the actions of the protagonist throughout the plot, and not just on the choice in the denouement. In most cases, a positive ending cannot be expected the first time – it is too difficult not only to achieve personal well-being, but also to save a family, not to mention the liberation of the entire country from the oppression of tyranny. During the next attempts, you notice that the scenarios by which the characters live are always the same, even if the main character can change their course. Yes, and this order – to whom and when to rent housing, who to send to jail, and who to spare – will be sacrificed for the effectiveness of the passage. No heart-wrenching story of the next tenant can resist the strict need to knock out as much money as possible from him in one way or another – if you rely only on emotions, then the main character will not do well.

Beholder game review

Judging by one family of tenants, the developers are aware that their game is similar to Papers, Please.

***

Beholder is just a puzzle: even if it is complex, beautiful and stylish, but having found the secret of the solution, there is no point in returning to it. The strategy that ensures victory does not tolerate variability – in order to get to the best of all possible finals, you will have to follow the same correct actions. Nevertheless, the search for this very ideal path will definitely not be boring.

Pros: interesting storylines of the main characters; choice; the impact of actions throughout the game on the ending of the story.
Cons: the need to earn as much money as possible at any cost; Many will find the game too difficult.

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