Game: The Tenants
Genre: Indie, Simulation, Casual
System: Steam (Windows)
Developers | Publishers: Ancient Forge Studios | Frozen District
Controller Support: No, Keyboard & Mouse
Price: US $19.99 | UK £15.59 | EU € 16,79
Release Date: EA March 25th, 2021, Full Release October 22nd, 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to Terminals.io
The simulation game, The Tenants, was released last year on early access. Now the game is leaving early access and has entered wide release with a new update to version 1.0. Let’s see what it is about!
Be a Landlord
In The Tenants, you play as an interior designer, a real estate agent, a landlord, and an exterminator, all rolled into one. You have a mighty task in your hands of restoring and furnishing apartments. You’ll also take care of tenants’ worries and complaints and kick them out when they don’t pay their rent on time.
At first, you don’t own any apartments. But with your Uncle’s help, a skilled handyman and an in-depth tutorial that takes you through the finer aspects of the job, you’ll soon own your first property. A handy mobile phone will help keep you on top of all the game-related jobs.
At its core, The Tenants is a management game; it reminds me of a mix between The Sims and Tycoon games. As a result, the screen can often get filled up with a variety of charts and screens and messages, and it can take some getting used to.
The comparison to the Sims comes from the design and decorating features in the game, whereas managing the rent payments and budget is the tycoon aspect of The Tenants.
Where The Tenants sets itself apart in the financial side of the gameplay, the game’s concept is about as simple as it gets. You play the game to earn capital and invest in more properties to climb the landlord’s social ladder. However, as with real-life financials, it is hardly ever that simple.
You’ll start your career with the goal of saving up to fix an old apartment by doing renovation jobs for other city dwellers. In addition, re-decorating a room allows you to earn experience and open up more furniture, wallpaper and flooring to use in your designs.
You are also tasked with cleaning up a house or room. Your Uncle will lend a hand to clean up any rubbish left behind in the apartment, and you have the choice to restore or repurpose any furniture. The repurposed furniture can then be used again in the room or kept for later.
Clients have Needs
Typically, a client has a list of needs and wants for their new home; you must choose the category of furniture they like the most. To get the best score and bonus payout, you will want to stick as closely to their preferences as possible.
Once you have added electrical outlets, water fixtures and heating vents to the room and finished your design, it’s time to rent the apartment. Listing an apartment, you host an open house and screen any tenants that show interest in the place before negotiating their lease. I liked this part of the game; haggling to get the best rent price is fun.
Your tenants don’t always have an easy life once they move into their new abode; you will be called to take care of a few emergencies in their homes. For example, you will have to deal with insect and rodent infestations, faulty appliances and burst pipes to natural disasters like earthquakes.
The interface can be pretty cluttered, but once you get used to it, the game is intuitive; I’ve already lost plenty of hours playing it. There’s a mass of items, furniture, flooring, and wallpaper to choose from, and as you progress through the game, you’ll unlock more. But note that there isn’t complete freedom to do as you wish with a property, as you still need to rent it out to potential tenants.
The Tenants looks well on my laptop with its NPCs in blocky visuals and its bright and colourful. The music isn’t that great, but that’s subjective to taste.
Unfortunately, there is a long loading time from the initial start screen to when you get to play the game. It took over three minutes to load, which is much longer than, for example, Cities: Skylines with 500 assets and a bunch of mods takes far less time to load. I had plenty of time to go and make a coffee while the game loaded up before I could play it.
The devs have more plans for the game after its release into the wild, with plans to possibly add DLC and Steam Workshop mod implementation. It’s good to see the developers have plans to keep updating the game instead of abandoning it like some do.
The Tenants will scratch that itch for gamers who like the casual pace of management sim. There is plenty to do in the game to keep you busy for hours. But, hopefully, in between other updates, the devs will pay attention to the long loading times and implement an improvement.
Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot