The Tenants - Preview (Closed Beta)

Build up your portfolio, renovate properties and become the perfect landlord in upcoming management game The Tenants from Polish developers Ancient Forge Studio and published by Frozen District of House Flipper fame.  Currently with a release window to be released, the game is currently in a closed beta.  Thanks to the publisher for providing me with access to the closed beta and allowing me to do a write up.  
Disclaimer - This game is still in beta phase and any elements discussed in this article may change prior to release, based on player feedback.

The premise of the game is fairly simple - buy properties, renovate them and lease them out whilst keeping your tenants happy.  Thankfully you're not alone though.  Your Uncle Steve is there to hold your hand whilst you find your feet!  He will guide you through the basics from finding your first renovation job, to establishing your first rental property.

Before you can start on your own properties, you'll need to get some money in the bank, more than the $500 you have to your name anyway.  In the first part of the game you will carry out some renovation jobs for other citizens in the city.  You will find these jobs on your cell phone.  The listings will detail some information about the job and what the pay for a successful job will be.  You can choose more than one job at a time, however be aware that they do have time limits associated with them.

The job selection screen on your cellphone, as we are starting out there is just the one job
Your first job will be to fix up Steve's trailer which his previous tenant has trashed.  Each job will list the requirements for the room such as wall colour, flooring type and any furniture requirements.  There are also additional desires for the room which may be for specific luxury or decor items, although these don't seem to affect your performance.  You also have a set budget for the job, displayed in the top left where your own balance would be displayed in 'normal' play, although I feel that these have been very generous and not much of a challenge to meet the briefs in the early game, so could maybe do with a balance pass.  When you start out you have a good, but limited, selection of materials and furnishings at your disposal, however, as you gain experience and level up you will gain access to further items allowing more creativity in your design.  After this you will find that your helpful aunt has given you an empty property to get you started.

After successfully completing a number of renovation jobs (the number will depend on the payout for each job), you will be able to start fixing up this property.  Once you have connected utilities you will design your apartment in terms of internal walls, doors and decor.  Now it's time for an open house!  Potential tenants will come and visit your property and you can decide whether to offer them a tenancy off the bat, or whether to carry out some background checks, for a price.

Uncle Steve's last tenant left the place in a mess.  Tidy it up and redecorate for your uncle.
The game provides you with feedback on your performance in the form of client reviews which are pinged to your phone and also note how much you have received in payment.  Sometimes these reviews can be a bit repetitive (I had two consecutive reviews which had very similar strings) but I expect this is due to the current beta state of the game and would hope to see more of these when the game proceeds to release.  These will give you an idea of how well you met your brief, although are not listed in chronological order which makes it tricky to keep on top of them as you complete more jobs.     

The game does a good job at keeping you engaged due to the variety of items available and design briefs from clients.  It also unlocks new features regularly during your play meaning that you aren't getting bored with placing the same objects over and over.  There is enough variety between the types of jobs from simple room decorating, to full remodelling jobs and looking after your tenants.  You need to keep on top of your personal finances to make sure that relevant landlord fees (utilities etc.) are paid and that you can afford to expand your portfolio, and also be aware of the budget for each renovation job.  You also need to keep an eye on your tenants who may contact you with issues which need addressed and make sure they are paying their rent.

Our first tenant moves in
For being in a closed beta I feel that the game is really shaping up nicely.  The game runs well and I've not noticed any glaring bugs.  The only feedback I have, other than the difficulty balancing and repetitive reviews which I noted previously, is that it would be nice if the cancel build could be more apparent.  It took me a while of clicking buttons to work out that it is bound to middle mouse button.  This is also a camera control button which can be slightly annoying when trying to move the camera to get the camera aligned for placement.  It would also be nice if you could see the length of time remaining on a particular tenancy to allow renovations of your properties and it seems that the option to terminate a lease is not currently implemented which meant that I got to a point where I was unable to progress with the campaign missions.  All of these I can overlook, however, due to the game still being in a development state and I've had a couple of hours of enjoyment from it so far.

The Tenants Bedroom Design
A simple bedroom makeover for a client who wants a TV and a lamp in the room
The Tenants Reviews
Our client reviews, note the similarity in the text strings
The Tenants Ready To Rent
Our first property ready for it's first tenant
The Tenants Open House
Running an open house for a client to find the perfect candidate for them. Run background checks and negotiate rental price
The Tenants Client Review
A client has returned to inspect my work and write a review
The Tenants Remodel
A client has asked for their apartment to be remodelled
The Tenants Remodel Complete
The same apartment after some remodelling and decorating
The Tenants Finances
The finance screen where we can see that I am up to date with utility payments, but my tenant has fallen behind on rent
The game is available to add to your wishlist on Steam and you will be notified when it goes on sale.  You can also follow the game on Twitter where they periodically announce way to get into the beta.  

The Tenants - Preview (Closed Beta) The Tenants - Preview (Closed Beta) Reviewed by Parcival on September 06, 2020 Rating: 5

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