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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Level of positivity depends on player's decisions when faced with moral choice.
Positive Role Models
Some characters are good, some are bad. Players can choose what they want to be.
Ease of Play
Basic mechanics aren't difficult; timers, obscure puzzle solutions make things challenging.
Violence & Scariness
People are arrested, beaten; there's one grotesque bloody death.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There's mention of an artist, his live-in mistress.
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Very rare occurrence of the word "s--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters shown secretly drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, taking drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Beholder: Blissful Sleep is a downloadable expansion of indie strategy game Beholder, and requires the base game in order to play it. It features mature themes involving police brutality, suicide, drug and alcohol use, crime, and political oppression, as well as complex moral questions involving loyalty and betrayal. The dialogue contains the occasional curse word, like "s--t," and characters are seen drinking, doing drugs, and being beaten and arrested by police. Minimal blood is shown. There's also a mention of a character's live-in mistress, but otherwise, no sexual content is included.
Is It Any Good?
This prequel features the same mix of cynicism and black humor as Beholder, but gameplay changes add little new content to this tale. The spying aspect is de-emphasized here, and gameplay is structured so that talking to people is more important than watching them. Rarely are you required to gather information on anyone, so your role as government stooge is seriously downplayed. Because of this, the tenant melodrama is harder to focus on. Much as you might want to help people, it's hard to find time when you're mere days away from being dragged to that big government waiting room in the sky. As a result, you're bound to fail a lot of timed missions and cause a lot of people a lot of suffering. If you have any compassion at all, that's not easy to face. Difficult moral choices still abound: Do I help a family avoid persecution or turn them in? Do I make money selling bootleg medicine, even if it makes people sick? The ending changes according to those choices. Though the expansion seems free of the base game's technical issues, the timer aspect combined with obscure mission solutions often makes it feel like you're fighting a losing battle. That, along with minimal new content, makes Beholder: Blissful Sleep feel less like a meaningful expansion and more like a slightly modified version of the base game.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.