IGF FINALIST 2013 BAFTA WINNER 2012 TIGA AWARD FINALIST 2012 1. Build Hotel. 2. Make Music. 3. Stop Tadstock. An insane hybrid of a tower defense game and a procedural music toy with tons of bullets (and healthy number of Wu-Tang references and credit crunch satire). The hit game for iOS now available on Windows and Mac!
User reviews: Mostly Negative (312 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 16, 2013
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“...to understand how excellent Bad Hotel is, you need to play it. And you need to hear it...I like Bad Hotel so much I'd buy it for you. Get it. It's wonderful.”

“Completely awesome...Lucky Frame, keep this kind of stuff coming.”

“Bad Hotel is, in short, the stuff of wonderful nightmares: an eerie soundtrack, a menacing palette and an all-pervading sense of inescapable doom. Yet it's also one of the most original and atmospheric tower-defense games we've played all year...”

About This Game


1. Build Hotel.
2. Make Music.
3. Stop Tadstock.

An insane hybrid of a tower defense game and a procedural music toy with tons of bullets (and healthy number of Wu-Tang references and credit crunch satire).

The hit game for iOS now available on Windows and Mac! You are a budding entrepreneur, whose hotel is rather unfortunately located within the territory of Tarnation Tadstock, the Texas Tyrant. Your only defense against Tadstock’s army of seagulls, rats, yetis, and more is to build your hotel as quickly and intelligently as possible, using an array of increasingly sophisticated weapons.

The beautiful artwork, quirky storyline, and frantic gameplay all work seamlessly together with a generative music system, which creates original music depending on the player’s actions and decisions. The player becomes a composer, creating complex musical structures to defend their hotel. A vast variety of music can be generated, from delicate beach chillout to country banjo techno.

Get the BAFTA-winning game that Kotaku said was "wonderful" and The Guardian called "an unlikely work of minimalist art".

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: XP
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 150 MB available space
    • OS: 7
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • OS: 10.5
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 150 MB available space
    • OS: 10.7
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04
Helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 24
A simple and basic strategy defense game. You start with a core building and build towers off of it. I don't think it's an amazing game but I don't think it deserves such a bad rating.

Some basic tips (use as needed; one strategy won't solve all levels):
* The plain structures are money-generating ones, so it's like an investment for more cash later on. If you make too many money towers, they'll get destroyed because you don't have enough early defense. Make too little, and you won't survive the later waves. Some levels require little/no money towers, other levels need lots.
* It's usually a bad idea to make tall towers because once a structure is taken down, everything further along is destroyed as well. Maybe there's a bonus but I didn't look into it.
* You can even let your core absorb hits to save your structures when you have the healing structure.
* The mine tower deals a lot of damage but limited range so some enemies will be able to attack from out of range. For example, in boss 1, if you make a horizontal line of mine towers and nothing above, the boss will stay in range of them.
* If your cash rate is high enough against certain enemies/bosses that instakill a structure, you can keep building your cheapest structure as fodder for every attack.
* You can build things underground and they're relatively safe but also don't protect your core.

I'm not good at real RTSs (like Starcraft, etc.) so I'm surprised a lot of reviewers had a hard time figuring out how to win. Once you figure out the towers and get the basic strategy down, most levels aren't as impossible as people think. If you're stuck on a level, you can just skip it: you can play any level of all the worlds immediately. I played my 1.5 hours and cleared most of the levels and all of the bosses. I don't care about score attack but that may appeal to some people for replayability. It may look pretty casual and the system is very basic but it can be a pretty challenging game that requires a certain level of strategy and luck to complete.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 10
Super fast pace game that leaves no room for error on the harder levels, which is most of them. You'll be lucky to complete more than two levels in each world. You start with little funds to build & the pay rooms take too long to build enough capital for offencive rooms. The enemies never slow down & most of them destroy a room in one or two hits. The only reason to get this game is if it's in a bundle. The game is so frustrating you'll be uninstalling after a few rounds. There aren't any tooltips or hints as to what new rooms do, you have to figure out in-game & even then most of the rooms aren't obvious as to what they do. After the first world the difficulty curve shoots straight up & there's no way to adjust it, it's just hard for the sake of being hard & sucks any of the fun you were once having.
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8 of 14 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 8
It's not a very realistic hotel manager sim :(
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 25
After watching the trailer for this game it seemed like a really interesting minimalistic take on the tower defense genre with a cool artstyle and nice music. So far the theory. In reality not much of what you see in the trailer is present in the game. The music consists of sounds made by your rooms (i.e. towers) that don't form a melodious whole but end up driving you to the brink of insanity with cacophonous chaos.
But it's not all about the music, you might say? Well, the game starts of interesting, you build your rooms and defeat your first waves of enemies. However, the levels are so unbalanced that some will be laughably easy only to be followed by a level that is hard to complete even after seeing how it's supposed to be done. Thankfully you can at least skip levels. All of them, in fact, which is what I'd advise you to do. Don't bother to get this one.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 18
Bad Hotel.... only not a bad game :P
It's basic building fun... and this you would normally find for you tablet.
Do not expect and pay to much.

I give it a 5 out of 10.
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6 of 12 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 16
Maybe I shouldn't review a genre I don't really like, but this is a bad game. Some small artistic merit which I might even enjoy if it if it was easier and I could coast through it, but it's pretty frantic.
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92 of 111 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2013
You know how sometimes you play a game and you call it "experimental" and it's really cool because it stands out and there's nothing like it and you're glad someone is doing neat, innovative things? And then other times you hear the phrase "experimental" said, but you've got a different tone of voice and it's more of a "I feel like my wallet and my time have just been vivisected" fashion?

Yeah this one's the latter. Your hotel has a core you defend at all costs, every "world" has its own sound patterns per block, and a beat rate the game matches with all the little rooms you build onto it. Some give you more cash, others fire at enemies, some are kamikaze or healing rooms, and every 5 levels there's a boss. That's it. Nothing else. It's modified tower defense but your towers are basically a music tracker. Not even a challenge mode or endless play for when you finish the rather-short campaign. (The closest you get to this is the later worlds all have a gimmick "no weapon/kamikaze-only" stage which, overall, is less fun than it sounds.)

Also the music sounds really interesting in the trailer, right? Yeah, nothing you make in-game is going to sound so cool and trip-hoppy. It's instead going to sound like an auditory seizure. On the subject of music: do you like the Wu-Tang Clan? Get ready to groan at a ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ of references to their songs in the between-level text. Which... isn't even on every stage. The game couldn't come up with 25 single-sentence lines of dialogue, that's actually the perfect metaphor for how this feels more like a gimmick than a game.
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61 of 67 people (91%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2013
Bad Hotel is bizarre. Not the sort of bizarre that makes you marvel at the creator's creativity and originality, the bizarre that leaves you scratching your head as to what you are playing, why you are playing it, and how it came to exist in the first place. A tower defense game hidden underneath a music experiment, Bad Hotel is an apply named oddity which seems to want to do nothing but be different no matter how detrimental it is to the experience.

Taking on the role as the owner of a new hotel, you are besieged by your greedy competitor whose sole goal is to destroy your building piece by piece, sending waves of rampaging animal suicide bombers (parallels could be drawn to terrorist attacks, but I highly doubt the developers were aiming for anything that heavy). To counteract the attack you must place rooms (which give you cash) and turrets (which destroy oncoming enemies), which connect to your hotel like a patchwork quilt and add a new sound bite to the "soundtrack". Despite sounding novel on paper this is where everything starts to unravel.

Levels are terribly unbalanced, with certain ones requiring near perfection to complete and others offering no difficulty whatsoever. Completing a level successfully never felt like anything but luck to me, and by altering your arsenal each level the developers remove the free-form strategy of traditional TD games and all but force you to follow their plan for how you place each room. This subliminal linearity makes it aggravating to continually fail a level and unsatisfying when you eventually, a combination that sapped any motivation I might have had to continue playing.

The music created by the various sounds of each tower is anything but melodic, more akin to a skipping CD or a telephone booth with various beeps and buzzes all combining into an awful mess of sounds and clashing time signatures. I would consider myself open minded when it comes to music but Bad Hotel did nothing but give me a terrible headache and reaching for the mute button. Visually it is just as disorganized and ugly even for previously being a mobile game, and the art and interface have had little if any work done to them for the PC version (a trend that seems to be happening more and more often).

I absolutely love tower defense, music, and experimental games more so than I can say, but Bad Hotel did nothing to keep me interested and everything to drive me away, despite how much I should have liked it. There is a decent amount of content here for the price, but I doubt many will bother to see most of it as it isn't enjoyable to play. There is something to be said for trying to do something unique, but this is a perfect example of how badly that goal can backfire. I cannot recommend playing or purchasing Bad Hotel in anyway, and can only hope it doesn't take too long to wash the awful taste it left me with.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
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43 of 53 people (81%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 3, 2013
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.

-Final Thoughts-
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.
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42 of 54 people (78%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2013
Bad Hotel is pretty bad. It's a hectic game, with not enough breathing room between waves and a stupidly weird difficulty spike at the end of world 2. Plus, simplistic, childish graphics do not equal 'art'. It's a weird idea, and let me tell you that weird games can be some of the best games out there, but this one just doesn't work. I can see it working on an iPhone (like it originally did), but for us PC gamers there are so many other tower defense games out there that are just so much better in its execution.

[Rating: 52/100]
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33 of 43 people (77%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 17, 2013
This game is very unplesant to play. It might be more fun on a tablet, but on a PC, it's awkward and confusing. I do not recommend this game.

It's bad enough that it's the first and only time I ever asked Steam for a refund.

They politely declined. :-/
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26 of 31 people (84%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 7, 2014
☺ Interesting approach to Tower Defence.

☹ Hectic.
☹ Noisy.
☹ Short.

Bad Hotel is a game I really thought I'd enjoy being a fan of tower defence and games that use music in clever ways...unfortunately, it fails to hit the right notes and I found it quite unpleasant to play.

You're tasked with defending a primary hotel block by placing rooms around it that have their own unique uses such as generating cash, firing at enemies or healing damaged rooms. Using these its up to you to withstand an onslaught of enemies as they attack relentlessly, with very little breathing room between waves. A 'pulse' is sent out from your central structure that activates abilities and sounds associated with each room and while sometimes it produces some interesting results, the majority of the time I just found it annoyingly repetitive.

There is quite a large difficulty curve that sets in early and coupled with the hectic pace makes the gameplay feel rather unwelcoming and unforgiving, it rarely feels like you're using tactics but more spamming what you think might be useful at the time.

While there are a fair few levels, the core gameplay never changes even with the introduction of rooms with different effects and the level variations themselves amount to a little cosmetic change and sometimes some different enemy appearances. If you can get over the difficulty spike I expect the game to last around two hours of playing time with very little reason to revisit - sadly, you never really get to play around with the musical elements which I feel is a bit of a missed opportunity.

I feel there is 'something' here that could be worked on, but Bad Hotel plays a few too many duff notes and is hard to recommend.
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2013
Got this packaged in with a Humble Bundle. It's "a game" all right, but it's only half decent even by the standards of mobile games. It is very clear that this was a quick and easy port from the mobile version. I wouldn't mind it for wasting a minute or two on my phone while I'm waiting for someone to meet me, but there really isn't any reason to own this game on steam.
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 20, 2014
I found this game to be extremely hard and unforgiving. However that's what made it so much fun. It reminds me of the classic NES era of gaming where games were hard, and often could not be beat in a few hours, yet alone a few days.

If you want a unique take on tower defense that is both fun and challenging you should buy this game.
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19 of 26 people (73%) found this review helpful
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 24, 2014
Bad Hotel is a very special kind of tower defense game which gives players a lot of room for creativity and imagination. There is basically no rule of how you should build; you can try any combination you like and build up your own oddest hotel to beat monsters. The game is not long, yet the difficulty is well-balanced that may take you some time to beat the whole game.

A cute light game. =)

Bad Hotel
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 1, 2014
Wish I could remove games from my library. This would be the first to go. Bad difficulty ramp up and not very polished.
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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 20, 2014
Shovelware ♥♥♥♥♥how with a more monotonous soundtrack than 95% of the original Gameboy library. It is really easy to just pick up and play though, so at least that's something.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 20, 2014
Mandatory premise: even though I stuck with the game long enough to obtain all achievements (and boy, some of them were a painful grind) and I really wanted to like its frantic approach to the tower defense genre, I can't recommend it to anyone for 5 bucks. You may find it interesting if you paid a maximum of .99 cents or found it as part of a bundle, but other than that there are way better TDs on Steam for its base price (Fieldrunners, iBomber Defense and Alien Hallway, just to name a few).

First of all, the pros: game is weird. Like, REALLY weird. Your objective in each stage is protecting the main tower of your hotel by building square shaped rooms around it. Rooms come in three distinct flavors: defensive, which simply stand there and absorb hits until their eventual annihilation; offensive, which provide the classic fare of TD weapons (guns, mines, ice to slow enemies, etc.); healing, which do exactly as their name says, replenishing damaged towers (but not themselves).

Rooms cost money, obviously, provided by the main tower at a really slow rate. To make your income skyrocket, you must build defensive rooms which also generate revenue, so you should maintain a balance between defensive and offensive ones to obliterate enemies, expand your layout and replace those destroyed. There's also a bare minimum of architecture in play, so if you stockpile rooms and enemies manage to destroy a block in the middle, all the ones above will crumble. Rooms also resonate between themselves, so you'll also hear a weird (again) but enticing tune while watching 'em shoot, heal or gather money.

Enemies, which range from giant bees to angry clouds through swimmers, snakes and pigeons, come at you in waves. You have a small interval between each wave to plan your layout, but actually the pace is so wild that you'll end up improvising most of the time.

And now, the cons: first of all, Bad Hotel is a port from mobile. While not necessarily a deal breaker per se, leaving controls unaltered really is: you must drag each tower on the map from the bottom bar, without keyboard shortcuts of any sort, and this alone would be enough to make most players back off in disgust.

Moreover, the taller your tower, the farther the camera will be placed, and you'll end up with a tiny tower being chipped away by tinier enemies with greater chances of screwing up room positioning due to the shrinked (and un-zoomable) visuals.

Your rooms selection is also limited in each stage, which in turn severely restricts your strategic options, and levels are intense but few and short. Finally, bosses are the nadir of stage design, since you'll be practically forced to go all out on them before being overwhelmed by waves of normal enemies.

As I said in the beginning, I had fun somewhat with this game while it lasted, but for all its quirkiness I feel it's also brought down by its many shortcomings, and thus cannot possibly praise it as much as I wanted.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2013
a tower defense with :
- strange theme (defend the hotel from birds, clouds, etc using 'room' as towers or walls),
- simple sound fx (tune) that can build some random strange 'music',
- unattractive simple graphic

if you can handle that, the gameplay quite challenging.
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
I would actually give this game 8/10 for innovation.. but seriously.. must it be really that hard? I look for fun in games. The first few levels were OK, quite entertaining.. then the difficult seemed to shoot up by ten times.

There are a few hints on what to do.. so a little experimentation is needed. This caught my eye... but did not keep my attention for long.. Can't recommend it..
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