The landlords, that mythological animal that says it works when in reality, it feeds on someone else’s salary. They are not the most loved guild by the people, and with good reason. I would even dare to say that, nowadays, more than one would like guillotines to be in fashion so they can practice with them. Because in modern life, we have all had a landlord or landlady who has made our lives complicated, jumping from rent to rent and making us feel privileged to live in a 34-square-meter fifth without an elevator. Luckily, not all landlords are like that… even if it’s in fiction.
This management game shows us the friendly side of people with income. With different avatars (with racial diversity), we can put ourselves in the shoes of those who rent to change the narrative a bit. After choosing our avatar, we get fully into our first rental. And it is that our dear aunt has folded her page (F for her) and left us an apartment with miraculous foundations. We must take other orders to renovate our little house and start our capitalist empire. The first one also acts as a tutorial. In it, our uncle (widower of the one who leaves us land) assists us and guides us on what steps must be taken so that our properties are habitable. Or at least that people are willing to pay for them.
The Tenants gradually reveal to us the complex game system it has. And yes, it isn’t straightforward. From apartment renovations (ranging from flooring to decorating) to treating tenants when they don’t pay, The Tenants has you covered. This becomes overwhelming since there are various menus on the main screen that we can’t always get rid of. This, coming from games I’ve played recently, like Elden Ring or Stray, with hardly any menus on the main screen, makes the contrast tremendous, and the effect that the entire screen is occupied is accentuated. Also, the first time we perform an action, our uncle will tell us precisely what to do. Luckily, we have a section where the tutorials are collected, which is quite intuitive if we forget how to do something.
This game combines resource management with a progress system. The more you progress in terms of completed assignments, the more personal budget you will have for your apartments, and you will be offered better jobs. It’s easy to go over to the dark side of capitalism and try to get rich as quickly as possible, but I recommend taking a slow walk and completing assignments. Because the happier our tenants are, the more likely they are to pay more and be on time. Although, in the opposite case, we can always get carried away by greed and be “the bad landlady.” Because we can punish tenants late in paying or destroying the apartments, some will decide to pay to settle the dispute, but others will walk away. And be careful; in the same way, your reputation increases when you do good things, and bad things will also lower it.
In our possession, we will have a mobile phone (where, among other things, we will be able to communicate with our clients), as well as a storage room where we can store furniture that does not fit with the theme of an apartment, but that perhaps we can use in another. Apart from that, we also have a skill tree with which we can improve in various aspects, such as the benefits acquired or dealing with tenants. This makes the game more interesting once you pass the overwhelming phase through the menus.
The music that accompanies us while we act as the right hand of the devil and rob people of their salaries is funny. It is somewhat reminiscent of the first editions of The Sims, with its construction mode musical hit.
A detail of Ancient Forge Studio is that, in addition, we can include our complaints and suggestions within the game itself. Something that I used when playing with a mouse made it very difficult for me to rotate the screen to see the renovations. But do not despair, mouse lovers; you can simultaneously use your keyboard.
Finally, I would like to comment that The Tenants is, above all, fun. You have bad tenants but also nice ones. You can choose how to decorate and in what conditions to deliver your renovations. This makes the time fly by as you play and certainly offers an entertaining way to channel those personal experiences we may have had as renters. So ignore your actual landlord, and be the one to run the show in The Tenants.
We prepared this review with a digital review copy of the game provided by Evolve PR.