If, like me, your favourite part of The Sims is spending hours in build mode, constructing the perfectly-decorated house, then you’re going to want to check out The Tenants.
This early access landlord simulator has been around since March 2021, but it’s only just recently hit my radar fallowing its latest big update. And I’m so glad it did, because it might just be my new favourite sim game. There are a lot of facets to The Tenants – and more to come in the full game – but one key element that’s keeping me very busy right now is apartment renovation.
Sure, you’ll eventually have to delve into the shady world of Being a Landlord, and that means pestering people for rent, possibly evicting them, fumigating apartments for bugs and doing routine repairs (if you’re one of the good ones). But a key way you’ll make money in The Tenants, particularly in the early days, is by renovating apartments. And I’m having an absolute blast doing it.
It feels very much like build mode of The Sims in that it’s entirely your call on what furniture to place, and where. You’ll even need to choose wallpaper and carpets, and if it’s a full renovation, the layout of walls and doors might even fall on your shoulders. Typically, a client has a list of needs and wants, and to get the best score – and the best bonus payout – you’re going to want to stick as closely to their preferences as possible. That might mean ignoring certain categories of items (who likes ‘basic’ stuff, anyway?) and opting for certain themes. You’ll also need to ensure each room has the essential items in: a toilet in the bathroom, a bed in the bedroom. It’s basic stuff. But getting it right is oh-so fulfilling.
The Tenants goes one step beyond The Sims, stepping briefly into Sim City territory. You’re going to need to ensure every apartment you’re renovating has water, electric and heating. In terms of water and electric that means installing outlets in places near appliances that need hooking up. Your toilet is going to need plumbing in, and a TV in the lounge is no good unless it’s near a power outlet.
Thankfully, placing them is very easy: it’s simply a case of selecting where on the wall you’d like them to be. In fact, everything in The Tenants is very easy to get to grips with. The user interface here is second to none, free of overwhelming bloat that often plagues simulation games. Starting a new game introduces you to the basics, but with intuitive menus and controls, you’ll hit the ground running, picking things up as you go along.
Whether you’re renovating for a client or preparing a new apartment for a tenant to move into, decorating in The Tenants is a blast. There’s a wealth of items and furniture to choose from, and as you progress through the game you’ll unlock more. But even right off the bat, there’s enough choice to really let your inner interior designer shine. The spaces you have to work in are typically small – at least to begin with – so you’ll need to consider placement to ensure everything is accessible. But the game does a great job of letting you know, and perfect layouts will soon become second nature to you.
So, if building and decorating is your favourite part of The Sims, there’s a new game to compete for your attention. The Tenants may still be in early access, but this is a seriously polished, fully-functional experience. With its latest update, Manhattan, the bulk of the final content is in place, with just more quality of life improvements and various tweaks to come before final release.
There’s no release date pencilled in just yet, but if The Tenants sounds interesting to you, you shouldn’t hesitate to jump in. Priced at just £15.99/$19.99, this is an absolute steal, and when it leaves Early Access that price tag will undoubtedly jump up. Just like your tenants’ rent will, if you choose to be a bad landlord.