"Beholder" is a simulation of the life of an ordinary human being at the frightening dystopian World where the State controls every aspect of private and social life.
Peeping and eavesdropping is a job. As the State-installed manager of a busy apartment complex, you must enter the dwellings of your tenants while they're at work or simply out of apartments, install hidden surveillance equipment, and search their rooms for anything that threatens the authority of the State. You must also watch everyone closely, listen to their conversations, and collect the information you need for putting together a dossier on each tenant. Ultimately, the decisions you make will shape each person's fate.
You will not only interfere with the privacy of your tenants, you will also track their loyalty to the State, suppress illegal activity, and embed in those you oversee the mindset the government desires. You must also ensure the well-being and comfort of your residents. After all, happy and well-fed people violate the law less, right?
Despite being a small screw in the vast and ruthless machinations of the State, you will always have a choice between being a diligent but thoughtless executor of the will of the State, or risking it all and remaining a human capable of empathy and sympathy.
For example, will you report the illegal activities of the father of a large family, knowing he'll never back down from the police, and leave his children without a breadwinner? Or will you take pity on him and give him a chance to set things right? Then again, you could blackmail him and obtain the money your family desperately needs. Or you could make life in his apartment so miserable, he moves and becomes someone else's problem. Making choices that affect the lives of people you don't know might sound easy, but would you reach the same decisions if the violator were a member of YOUR family?
Will you accept the position of manager, or remain one of the faceless masses at the mercy of the ultimate authority? The State awaits your answer.
Grim dystopian world. Grim dystopian world, atmosphere of control and total state surveillance for every aspect of citizens’ life. Anyone can be a state enemy. Neither adults nor elderly nor kids are safe.
Total surveillance. The player will have to spy upon the house residents. Different types of surveillance cameras (from simple cameras with a small viewing angle up to large-format night vision cameras with recording functions), tapping devices with which one can put together a dossier for residents are at the player’s disposal. Constant searches in apartments allow finding evidences that declare inhabitants’ identities as well as evidences to prove offence.
State control. Every day the State publishes directive bans that are mandatory for all citizens. The house manager is the one to monitor how the directives are executed, otherwise he or she will be charged in aiding enemies and shot. What is prohibited today? Books, topics for conversations, household items, and luxuries? All that is legal today can be banned tomorrow.
Writing of accusations. A bureaucratic state constantly requires paperwork: characterizing each occupant, writing reports about their behavior and conversations. If a law violation is proved, the tenant will be immediately arrested and punished.
Collecting information. By searching tenants’ apartments, the player finds information about their personality and private life and then put a detailed dossier for every resident. A decent-looking math professor can be a violent choleric attacking neighbors, while a nice confectioner can agitate customers against the state behind the manager’s back.
Moral choice. The player will decide what to do with the collected information. One can follow the letter of the law and make an official dossier, which will result in an immediate punishment of the violator. But this is not the only option, the player can help tenants of the house, protect them from checks and arrests, and take care of his or her own profit, blackmailing those who violate the law. Is it an easy task to write an accusation when the offender is a member of your family?
Unique heroes. There are over 50 unique heroes with their own stories, personality, hobbies, and animation. Tenants’ settings change during the game and depend on the in-game events as well as on the player’s decisions.
Black market. Shelves in the state stores were emptied long ago, so in order to buy something really worthwhile, one has to pull strings. Tenants of different jobs will provide the player with access to various goods, alas, only those who have pulls can buy them.
Interaction with residents. The player has eight apartments for rent, a kitchen and a laundry room. All premises should be kept in good order, repaired in time and upgraded in order to house wealthier residents and receive more income. The player should talk to every person, get to know their anxieties and discontents, learn news and give gifts in order to increase their trust level. The better the tenant treats the manager, the more he or she can prove useful: report necessary information, sell unique items, tell a life story. If a tenant’s trust level is critically low, he or she can start fighting.
Different game strategies. There are different ways of achieving one and the same goal depending of the gameplay style. Establish trustful relations with a resident in order to get access to new goods? Put together a detailed dossier in order to get these goods by means of blackmail? Steal the goods without taking care of the consequences?Flexible plot. The main story and available side stories depend on the player. Every decision matters and influences the story events. The player can witness more than 10 game ends by choosing different strategies. Whether resistance wins, or state authority becomes stronger, or residents’ values change completely. Will the main hero be sent to prison? Will his or her family survive?