The Tenants will live in your head rent-free
Landlords, amirite? We’ve heard all the horror stories about terrible landlords doing things like painting over cockroaches, jacking up rent on dinky places, and ignoring much-needed repair requests. It’s really a shame that these bad apples are ruining an entire bunch of people who might not be that bad. In fact, maybe you’d like to show ’em how it’s done?
Well, now you can in The Tenants, a landlord larping game currently in development from Ancient Forge Studio with publishing being handled by Frozen District. You know, the House Flipper team? Now you’re not just flipping apartments, condos, trailers, houses, and more — you’re renting them out to different people, and have to deal with all the headaches that comes with the territory.
The Tenants has players taking on the niece or nephew (nibling?) of a handyman we call Uncle Steve, a guy who knows his way around a pilot light and an HVAC unit. He has an old trailer he’d like to spruce up and rent out to a buddy of his, but he doesn’t want to be bothered with the long term care that comes with such an arrangement. Instead, he’ll show you the ropes and let you have at it; if you need help with light fixtures or plumbing, he’s just a phone call away. Thanks, Uncle Steve!
Of course, once you start collecting that rent money from Uncle Steve’s friend, it’s easy to start wondering about turning this side hustle into a veritable cash cow. Soon, you’ll be designing interiors for clients all over town, bidding and buying homes to renovate and rent, and take care of your tenants by ensuring they have roach-free amenities, such as wifi, anti-burglar alarms, and more. Sounds like a lot of work, right?
In truth… yeah, The Tenants handles a lot, and can get a little overwhelming fairly quickly. But what it does offer is immense and has the ability to become immensely addicting. For one, any player who grew up with The Sims and vastly enjoyed building and decorating houses more than actually playing the game is going to have a great time here, because that’s the bulk of the gameplay. You’ll get specific requests here and there about getting certain flooring, furniture types (posh, modern, etc.), and pieces, but for the most part you’re really going wild decorating homes within a certain budget, which is quite a fun challenge.
Where The Tenants gets interesting is in the rental mechanics themselves. After buying and renovating a home, you’ll be able to put it on the renter’s market so you can get that rent money from tenants. After you’ve selected a renter from the available pool, you’ll need to research their specific likes/dislikes so you can either gift your tenants or make them utterly miserable in a bid to get them to leave. I found that mechanic odd, but in the spirit of The Sims so it was still fun nonetheless.
As The Tenants is still in Early Access, there’s plenty that’s here now that might be changed later, stuff that’s missing that will be added later, and a (small) number of bugs that have yet to be patched, but overall I believe the game is shaping up quite nicely. There is so, so much to do when it comes to interior design and there’s enough variety in the challenges so that you don’t end up building the same home over and over again selling to the same couple over and over again (looking at you, House Flipper). Kid me playing The Sims just to design and decorate houses literally dreamed of this game, and overall it’s been done pretty well.
Of course, there are a few little issues that were frustrating, one of them I think being that The Tenants is perhaps a little too overwhelming. It’s such a double-edged sword to say this because we really are getting bang for our buck here (some players have already reported pouring 80+ hours into the Early Access title!), but there were moments where I just kind of fell into executive dysfunction due to just how much there was to do in the game. To be honest though, if that’s the biggest thing I have an issue with when it comes to The Tenants, I’m pretty pumped for a good time come full launch.
Be sure to wishlist The Tenants on Steam today!