Beholder 3


In Beholder 3 you play as Frank Schwartz, lovely husband and father of two, who loses his office job at the Ministry after someone set him up. To avoid imprisonment, he accepts a deal with a high-ranked security officer and becomes a government spy, working as a landlord and keeping an eye on the tenants, reporting any illegal activity and fulfilling the Ministry requests. As the appointed landlord, he moves with his family into a brand new apartment, with a separate room reserved for the spying activity and communication with the Ministry. The gameplay stands between a point & click adventure and a management sim, with a set of common tasks (such as paying bills, taking out the garbage, repairing the laundry machine etc.) and a more elaborated set of espionage activities (such as sending reports to your superiors using a computer).

While the setting is nothing original, being obviously inspired by Orwell’s 1984 and similar, it’s nice to see the landlord’s perspective, breaking into your tenants’ apartments (when they are not at home), looking for illegal items and installing security cameras to keep an eye on their private activities. Most often, you will be required to take morally questionable choices that alter the fate of your tenants, as well your reputation with the Ministry. Reporting a tenant for illegal possession of drugs could lead him to be arrested, yet you could steal those drugs and use them to ease the pain of a sick child who lives alone with his mother. Of course, you could also find drugs in other ways, and this is where the game gets more interesting. The challenge is to understand how to fulfill each task without losing the trust of the Ministry while still doing some good, at the risk of your (and your family’s) reputation. The game does a great job at presenting a different set of choices and consequences, offering you a great level of freedom on how to approach each task. To complicate things, your family (which includes your rebellious anti-regime daughter) will constantly face dilemmas that will test your loyalty to them or to the Ministry.

Getting to know your tenants is encouraged and often required to fulfill the Ministry requests. Failing to complete their tasks in the given time will have harsh consequences on your reputation and possibly lead to a game over. The other way of getting a game over is by declaring bankruptcy. There is a financial aspect linked to your landlord/spy work. Your wife’s job will grant you a persistent, but low, income, so reporting the illegal activities of your tenants is the fastest way of getting paid directly by the Ministry. Money is crucial as you will have to regularly pay multiple bills for your property and any fine you receive for breaking the law. You can also buy multiple items from the kiosk or from the black marketeer (if you are looking for illegal products), which will often be required to solve your family’s and your tenants’ tasks.

Artistically, the game perfectly depicts the dystopian regime, with cartoonish shadows and goofy animations. It’s a pity that such an Orwellian world is mostly limited to one claustrophobic building and a street, with nothing left to explore other than the tenants’ small apartments (but also understandable since it’s where all the main gameplay happens).

The game is playable with both mouse & keyboard and controller, though the latter is not perfectly polished and shows some clunkiness while moving through the menus. Fortunately, I didn’t experience any bugs, except for some hiccups while taking the stairs or a few characters floating and then repositioning to the ground.

If you enjoyed Beholder 1 & 2, you can expect this third chapter to be a more-of-the-same that doesn’t add anything new to the gameplay, but still manages to recreate a wonderful dystopian setting mixed with management sim mechanics and an intricate set of choices and consequences.

Review written by Sonic Punk for

Beholder 3 Steam Store Page 


+ Engaging dystopic story and setting
+ Time-based management sim
+ Moral choices affecting characters’ lives and endings


- It gets repetitive over time
- Controller use is not perfectly smooth
- Limited environments

Review Summary

Beholder 3 successfully recreates a dystopian simulation filled with morally grey choices and consequences.

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Zeepond Rating: 7/10