Genre: Adventure Detective Fantasy
Release Date: June 8, 2010 (PC/Mac)
Platform: PC (reviewed), Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad
OS 3.0 or later
Note: Originally published 11 October 2010
When I first saw the plot for Hotel I rolled my eyes. Beautiful NYPD detective with psychic sensitivities is sent to an old castle in France built by the Knights Templar where she discovers an ancient cult and a mystical artifact which will allow its owner to rule the world. Gee, that's never been done before...TO DEATH!
But I set my prejudices aside for the moment and started playing. And I found a very nice game.
The first thing you will notice from the screen shots is that the graphics are very nice. I can't say that they're especially atmospheric, but they are very pretty. Good, professional effort.
The sound is also pretty and attempted to set the mood. No great orchestration, just simple background ambient chords. There are attempts to sound dramatic in places, but for whatever reason I was not particularly moved. But, as I said, it's nice and there's nothing audible to distract from the game.
There is no voice acting, all dialog is through captions. This worked just fine and I personally prefer this to voices which don't quite get it.
The puzzles are a combination of logical and inventory and they are all fair. Clues are there to be found and if a hot spot is rather small, it's helped along with a small sparkle. Overall, they're quite enjoyable.
The game play is very good. The interface is point-and-click. The hot spots are generous, but just in case there are two helps. If a spot is particularly small, there is a small star which occasionally blinks over it. There is also a Hint button which highlights all hot spots on the screen.
The game progresses very nicely – it is usually obvious what needs to be done next. There is a bit to explore, but it never overwhelms and you don't have to cross the entire country time and again on errands. The story, such as it is, unfolds at a good pace.
It is the storyline where the game gets a little silly. I won't get into many details, but there are many plot devices brought into the game which are never developed. For example, the detective is supposed to be sensitive to psychic phenomena. Good, there are games out there based solely on this premise. But her ability allows her to have a couple of lucid dreams at the beginning and that is it. We never see it at work again. The result is a story which feels rushed and trite in several places. However, it does hold your interest and the ending is fine.
The biggest complaint you could bring against Hotel is that it is a bit short – it can be played in ten to fifteen hours.
Putting it all together, you have a very nice, short, game. It's fun to play and I would like to see more from Cateia Games.
Final Grade: a solid B
Note: This review is of the Standard Edition, not the Collector's Edition.
The Collector's Edition includes bonus material:
- Characters Biography
- Integrated Strategy Guide
- Bonus Art and Desktop Wallpapers
- Bonus Music
PC System Requirements:
Operating system: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7
1 GHZ CPU
256 MB RAM
350 MB Hard disc space
Sound: Any Sound Card
32 MB 3D video card
Mac System Requirements:
Mac OS X 10.4. or higher
Intel or PPC