Do you enjoy playing video games as a form of escapism? Like a place where you can leave behind the expected norms and rules of the real world and venture into fantasy lands? If that’s you, then you might want to do some research The Tenants.
Recently released on PC, The Tenants is a management game where you play as a landlord, with the whole thing that you are constantly working on your buildings and interacting with tenant needs. Building improvements, fixing things, buying new furniture and generally making sure everything is in order and everyone is okay.
As anyone who has ever rented a place to live in *checks civilization* most places today would know, even Skyrim is more realistic than this. In the United States there is a “rental crisis”caused by everything from rising income inequality to property speculation to AirBnB craze, while here in Australia it’s, uh, also a “rental crisis” is caused by… soaring income inequality and real estate speculation.
A realistic game about being a landlord, so, would imply that you are the most disgusting piece of shit on the planet, someone more than happy to pay you more than half your monthly salary for a mud infested apartment with wet walls and fungus growing out of the bathroom. You would be penalized for repairs, and answering a tenant’s phone call would result in instant death.
Fortunately, taking a less realistic tone, The Tenants it’s pretty funny! Sitting somewhere between a building management game (ala the Two Point series) and The Simsnot only do you have to spend a lot of time placing furniture, making repairs and arranging things (both for residential and commercial real estate), but you also have to deal with neighbors, police, loud music, drugs, neighborhood thugs and your actual tenants. .
There are two game modes to play, one which is just a sandbox and the other a more campaign style experience, although like most of these games you will invariably spend more time in the first one, agonizing for hours over where exactly you are going to put that. sofa and what color tiles you put in the bathroom.
My favorite things about the game are its item placement system, which is a joy to use (things click and pop and slide around wonderfully), and the fact that it has two content filters on startup, one to remove drugs from the game, the another to remove bugs. Not software bugs, actual bugs
My least favorite things is that you spend all your time playing this game doing fun and cheerful tasks, two things that actual landlords absolutely do not deserve to be associated with, and that as cool as the renovations and construction works can be, the tone of the game can sometimes be. still be a little…away
The Tenants is out now on Steam.