Dystopia Simulator Beholder Out Just in the Nick of Time

In a totalitarian society you never know who’s working for the state. It could be a neighbor, family member, or in the case of Beholder [official site], your landlord. Warm Lamp Games say their surveillance ’em up, which launched this week, is inspired by “the oppressive laws introduced by the Russian Government,” and it certainly gives at least a grim portrayal of life under the KGB or Gestapo.

Beholder places you in the role of Carl, a landlord of a tenant house and an employee of a state in which surveillance, graft, and government sponsored brutality are the norm. I’m not going to make any sort of topical comment here, but you’re free to do so in the comments.

In Beholder you get to choose the morality you wish to roleplay. You can either be a scumbag and steal from your tenants while placing surveillance devices about their apartments while they’re gone. Alternatively, you can use your position as a state employee to protect and save your tenants from the plots and machinations of the despots that rule them.

You can choose whether to be the snake or the mongoose now in Beholder, available on Steam for £5.59/7,99€/$7.99, which is 20% off the normal price to commemorate the launch. It’s on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Annoyingly, its demo seems to have vanished. It must have been guilty of something.


  1. Metalfish says:

    “I’m not going to make any sort of topical comment here, but you’re free to do so in the comments.”

    Yes, clearly you mean the south African team had nothing to hide, but plenty to fear from a strong England team? Or perhaps you mean the ubiquity of John Lewis adverts leaves us feeling watched by a marketing big brother?

    Because if there was a real, genuine feeling of creeping authoritarianism emerging to stamp on the human face forever, that’d be terrible, wouldn’t it?

  2. Kollega says:

    Regarding “topical comments”, the game is inspired by historical cases of totalitarian encroachment just as much as by current ones. The aesthetic just screams “1937”, if you ask me. Or “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, given how the playable area is pretty much “Victory Mansions”. Not that we have learned too much from 1937 OR Nineteen Eighty-Four, by the look of things.

    I wonder what sorts of judgements the game events/endings make, and what sort of things they say. I feel like these days, many works of fiction seek to point out problems, but too few seek to motivate us into solving them.

    • aldo_14 says:

      Not that we have learned too much from 1937 OR Nineteen Eighty-Four, by the look of things.

      From the looks of things, I think some people learned a lot from those.

      • Kollega says:

        Something something Nineteen Eighty-Four wasn’t supposed to be a guidebook god dammit.

    • Chaz says:

      These comments are being monitored for your greater enjoyment.

      Be happy and be seeing you citizens.

  3. gwop_the_derailer says:

    I was recently reading up on the Stasi, and I am thinking they had even modern mass surveillance beat. One informant per 6.5 people. And not to mention replacing arrest and torture with gaslighting and smear campaigns, slowly driving their targets to insanity…


    • pepperfez says:


      • JarinArenos says:

        This year has killed my ability to read posts like this as sarcastic.

  4. Shigawire says:

    On the topic, this is the best surveillance/dystopia movie I’ve ever seen (and is ranked thus on IMDB)

    It’s a german movie
    link to imdb.com