Weirdsday :Beholder (PC)
In Beholder, you play Carl, a government-installed landlord in a totalitarian State in an Orwellian 1984 style society. Your job is to keep an eye on the people of your building to make sure they are following the laws of the State, as well as perform any tasks the State deems it necessary for you to do. You do this to get money to keep your family safe and happy.
The overall setting and style is very similar to another unique game, Papers Please. As in Papers Please, you can choose to follow only the States guidelines, go overboard and even more rigidly enforce the guidelines, or listen to each person and help people out of compassion, whim, or maybe to aid the resistance.
The main gameplay is to covertly watch the tenants and eavesdrop on their conversations. You can bug apartments while tenants are away with different types of cameras, search their belongings for whatever can threaten the authority of the State, and profile them. The State requires a player to report anyone capable of violating the laws or plotting subversive activities to them.
As you progress you begin to have to make choices for characters that will affect the overall game, as well as your family. Do you help the confessed war criminal escape in exchange for enough money to smuggle your son to a private school in a kinder country? Can you make enough money to buy your daughters medicine, or do you have to turn to the black market? Do you aid the resistance by framing the war hero, even though you will lose a lot of State offered resources? All of these and more are what makes the game interesting and multiple playthroughs worth it.
The controls and interface are fairly intuitive and self-explanatory. It is a point and click style control scheme, and the interface has enough info without being too cluttered. You can easily navigate around the building and perform the various actions without much in the way that is tiresome or feeling you are clicking too much for a basic task.
As far as art and sound go. the graphics are interesting in that all the characters are black silhouettes with white outlines. The rest of the world is rendered in an artistic style that feels right. It has a run down feel to it that works well with the game.
The sound is decent, with the music not overly distracting and the sound effects appropriate. In the end, the sound does its job but is not particularly memorable.
Overall this is a fun game set in a dystopian future with some replay value and humor. I begin to get attached to the family and long term tenants, so if something bad happened to them I was invested enough to care. I enjoy my time with the game whenever I play it and look forward to checking out the DLC that was released last month.