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Parents' Guide to


By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Flawed linear adventure asks tough ethical questions.

Game Mac , Windows 2016
Beholder Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

I'd keep an eye on it...

While I myself enjoy this game I have to respectfully disagree that this game is for anyone under the age of 13. Aside from the themes mentioned of violence, drinking/drug use and the like, there is also blackmail, suicide, murder, conspiracy, infidelity, spying, wife beating, police brutality, government tyranny, bribery and prostitution. Depending on your choices in the game, there are many different paths and "quests" your character can go do and many different endings. Many choices are morally ambiguous and lead to equally morally ambiguous results. Even though it says no swearing or sex is present, that is actually not true. If you make a certain series of choices, one quest will be a husband asking you to spy on his wife and find out if she's cheating. She is, and the way you find this out is by...well catching them in bed together. Though this isn't graphically shown(all you see is the blankets move with heart bubbles coming up) it's still obvious and embarrassing. It's during this quest that, depending on what you choose to do, that the Lords name is taken in vain and the husband will also commit suicide. (which you see him do, he hangs himself) Other swear word are peppered throughout the game. You have choices whether to help murder people who are criminals or not, and to help bring down the government or not. Even though the characters are basically just different shaped silhouettes without much detail--helping to make things not overly graphic--there is still blood when people are murdered. All this is just what I've found so far. I would not recommend letting a child under the age of 13 play this game, no matter how mature they are. And honestly even that might be questionable. I would advise a parent being in the room as well, and talking with your kids about what goes on in the game. You know your child best. If they are impressionable, absolutely don't let them play this game. And even if they aren't, I'd keep an eye on things anyway.
age 9+

Tiny bit of iffy stuff but if your child is sensible or mature they won’t follow the wrong path in real life!

The game contains drug dealing and some other iffy topics but if your kid is 8+ and mature it will not be a problem. Also if your kid is 7+ give it a try and if your kids behavior changes badly, delete it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This strategy title could've raised very important questions, but its linear structure and weak pacing barely scratch the surface. In a country that rewards betrayal and punishes kindness, what kind of person would you be? You'll find out as the replacement manager of a government-run apartment house. You'll monitor your tenants both visibly and covertly and report any suspicious activity. Sketchy as that sounds, it's easy to do at first, since staying in the government's good graces means you stay alive and your family receives food, shelter, medicine, and other important perks not available to the common public. If only things stayed that easy.

As time goes on you get to know your tenants, even befriend them. You share pleasantries, worries, household items. They come into your home. Then it comes: the call telling you to evict one of your friends by whatever means necessary -- threats, blackmail, even planting illegal contraband. Do you do it, ignoring the trust you've built and keeping your family safe? Or do you refuse the directive and risk losing everything? Before Beholder is done, you'll be sorely tested through choices that become increasingly gut-wrenching. Sadly, the tension is often undermined by sections of dead air and bugs that prevent objectives from completing the way they should. Worse, certain choices made early on can seriously hamper your later progress. Although these mistakes can be fixed in subsequent playthroughs, the linear storyline isn't really compelling enough to encourage multiple run-throughs. Ultimately, flawed presentation undermines what could have been an excellent tool for asking important and politically timely ethical questions.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Mac , Windows
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Alawar Entertainment
  • Release date: November 9, 2016
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
  • Last updated: February 26, 2020

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