The Tenants was developed by Ancient Forge Studios and released May 15 2021 on Steam. Ancient Forge Studio is a Steam-only development studio based in Poland. The Tenants was published under the Frozen District label, who have Empyrean studios under them. Empyrean was responsible for the popular House Flipper that was released in May 2018. Ancient Forge Studio are a small studio who have also developed Glorious Companions, but their most recent release is what I have played for review.
So what is it?
The game follows the story that you are being helped by your kind aunt and uncle to help you get onto the “property ladder”. They do this by showing you how be a landlord by buying, selling and renovating properties. You are also able to help other landlords look after their properties while they are away. This can be done through tasks such as babysitting. As a simulation, management, time-management and building game it tries to bring the player into the world of making their money work for them and time-management is key to this aspect of the game.
You start by helping you uncle renovate a small static home. After the renovation you are given the property to get you onto the initial rung of the property ladder. Using your mobile phone (the one in-game, not your own) you pick up two jobs at a time. These can either be renovation jobs, babysitting tasks, open house or design.
When you get jobs, you are given a job specification, a budget and, in some cases, a time frame in which to complete the job. Completing these in the allocated time helps you to get better rewards. You don’t necessarily have to stick to the time and specifications either , but you will see better scores from your clients and this helps you to get offered better jobs in the future.
I found that the graphics to have some flaws and there are lots of areas where the images are pixelated when they should be smooth. This often occurred in the flooring,. At times I had to restart the game as it seems to crash at random intervals. This can be frustrating as the job you had started has to be redone from scratch. Also – if you do not close the game down completely it will not stop the game through inactivity. This means that you will end up in serious debt and have to begin again.
My end thoughts on this game is that it feels to me that this is a mishmash of House Flipper (ironically by the same publisher) and The Sims. The character similarities are definitely similar to The Sims as well as the way you see if there happiness is improved by the +++ symbols above their heads.
The game is still very enjoyable if you, like me, enjoy these types of games. There were still moments that were tedious and brought more of a multitasking aspect to this style game. For example, while you are renovating a property you get messages from your own tenants with issues that you need to address straight away. These mini-tasks have a few ways in which they can be solved but they use either your time or your money.
I really enjoy this game but can’t play it for long periods of time as it is quite repetitive. There also seems to only be a small handful of property floor-plans which doesn’t overwhelm the player with available content. It’s a great game if you would like to sit down and play something that doesn’t take too much thinking and just pass the time.