This post is from the now defunct website “A GameDev Plays…”, copied here for posterity
Want to be a government landlord in a totalitarian regime? Want to steal, blackmail and spy on your tenants? Then you are in luck in the dark indie game Beholder.
This game is really about evoking the atmosphere, and the stories, of living in a depressing dictatorship. The player’s avatar is the landlord of a government housing building. He job is to complete the tasks sent regularly from his employers, family, and sometimes mysterious others. To complete them you move around the side-on building and interact with various items and talk to people. Sometime you have to complete bureaucratic reports - make sure all the fields are correctly filled, or you will have to do it again! The actual mechanics of the game become quickly repetitive. Whether you enjoy it will depend greatly on whether the stories and setting are interesting to you. The player is forced to make decisions where no outcome is positive. Beholder is a decidedly downbeat game - dark in both tone and graphics (it is often hard to see what is happening). To me it is more interesting than entertaining.
Beholder is US$9.99 on the Steam store for PC, Mac and Linux. It has been bundled.