Gameplay & Controls: 2/5 ♥s
Graphics & Visuals: 2/5 ♥s
Music & Audio: 3/5 ♥s
In writing this review, I'm assuming that most people who are drawn to Bad Hotel were wowed by the haunting music and surreal experience they saw pictured in the trailer, as I was. In short, I'm here to regretfully inform you that the truth behind the matter is that the only thing "insane" about this tower defense hybrid is its learning curve. It's almost safe to say that if Bad Hotel were an RPG, the creators of Dark Souls would be taking note.
-Gameplay & Controls-
Bad Hotel plays out in a rather straight-forward fashion: as the manager of a hotel in an unexplicably hospitable vacation destination, you must strategically construct rooms to keep your building intact for a specified period of time. Certain rooms garner certain abilities, with some giving your hotel an increased source of income while others come equipped with missiles or gravity-defying mines to blow away any miscreant who happens to attempt an assault on your futuristic space Marriott. Although the first several levels serve as a basic and relatively easy introduction to the room types, the player is subsequently dropped into a boss fight with rage-inducing difficulty, forced to watch their pastel pixelated polygons repeatedly destroyed over and over again without any indication as to how you are supposed to be constructing a "sound" hotel. (That pun was entirely unintentional, and I only recognized its genius upon rereading that sentence.) Assuming you decide to keep playing after this point, you'll find several more sets of levels during which one's annoyance with Bad Hotel will range from that of watching the Star Wars prequels to being forcefully confined to a small room where the only source of light comes from a television playing Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on loop for 24 hours. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then by all means, go ahead; it is still a playable and fully functional game, but I think I'd be lying if I said I enjoyed my time with Bad Hotel.
-Graphics & Visuals-
Graphically, the game isn't much to look at. As previously mentioned, the game is basically comprised of pastel shapes over a background with a slightly unnerving pallet, whereas the enemies in Bad Hotel largely seem to consist of pixelated gulls and some very aggressive clouds. It never quite gives off the effect that one originally perceived it would have from the trailers, instead going for a manner that not only neglects to fully please but fails to live up to the hype. However, what graphics there are do appear to compliment whatever misunderstood direction the game actually takes, so I suppose that counts for something.
-Audio & Music-
This is my biggest gripe about Bad Hotel. If there were ever a case of false advertising by companies porting questionable mobile tower defense games, then this would be the one. What I neglected to mention earlier in my review is that this game serves a dual purpose in that it is also a procedural music generator. What this means for the consumer, however, is that the haunting, chilling tones from the game's trailer which made it sound so deliciously appealing in the first place are nowhere to be found, instead replaced with a selection of noises that in Lucky Frame's perspective better suited their pixelated amalgamation. Still, I did find myself on occassion putting more effort into creating vividly pleasing sounds than attempting to clear a level, so some points have to be awarded for ingenuity. While the creation of musical undertones through the building process is actually rather rewarding in its own way, I can't help but feel that Lucky Frame regrettably missed the mark on this one, if simply because Bad Hotel gives away an entirely different experience than the one that had been promised.
Well, there you have it -- my two cents on Bad Hotel. While I admittedly have not spent a large portion of time on the game, I feel that the impression I received was strong enough to justify such opinions. If I happen to play the game for a longer stretch (although I'm not quite sure how anyone could spend a considerable amount of time on the game, as despite its difficulty it appears rather short) and decide that any part of my initial review is unjustified, I'll reexamine my editorial. Until such a time, however, I leave you with the final statement that I ultimately was more entertained watching the trailer for Bad Hotel than I was actually playing Bad Hotel. If that impacts your purchase, than so be it.
Posted: December 3rd, 2013