Up All Night At Hotel Dusk

Hotel Dusk: Room 215
Developer: Cing
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: 01/22/2007

Sometimes a game comes around that isn’t big on people’s radar but once it is played it will knock your teeth out. Hotel Dusk is one such game. The game isn’t big and flashy but it has it’s own sense of style and personality enough to let it stand alone with the big boys.

Hotel Dusk is kind of a throwback to the adventure games of the 1990s. In it you take control of Kyle Hyde, a former detective now door to door salesman working for a company called Red Crown. He’s searching for his former partner, Brian Bradley, who had disappeared three years ago. The date is December, 28 1979 and Hyde’s boss has a package for him to pick up at the Hotel Dusk. Hyde travels there ready to do the job but also anticipates learning a thing or two about Bradley while there. The story is very good and engaging, and many of the characters are unique and likable. I think the dialog is fantastic. This is a good thing because the game is very story driven and much of the gameplay revolves around the dialog interactions.

This gameplay are slightly reminiscent of early/mid 90s adventure games. It is a point and click adventure in which you point and click with the stylus, or drag your character around with the touch screen. On the left screen you’ll see a three dimensional view of your surroundings. From here you can explore the world more closely or interact with human characters. If you choose to explore more closely you get an up-close view of your surroundings and you can then touch specific areas of the room like a bed or a picture. Occasionally a puzzle may spring up to interact with such as moving boxes or picking a lock. When you interact with another character you’ll be taken to a different screen where you can choose dialog choices and also see each charter’s motions and reactions. That is the extent of the controls, they aren’t very complicated, they are very simple.

The graphics in this game aren’t amazing but they have a unique quality that makes the game interesting. The environments are what you would expect, a semi realistic looking environment. But the characters themselves are a semi-realistic hand drawn black and white drawing that animates as you play. This look catches the eye and keeps things interesting. Also the way some of the story elements present themselves in small little videos is interesting as well.

There is no voice acting in this game. Generally it is hard for me to play a game if there is no voice acting but it is written so well I didn’t mind. There are some good sound effects and the soundtrack is good too, that is about as much sound you’ll get. But the soundtrack shifts to convey the character’s emotion at the time and it works out pretty well.

When all is said and done Hotel Dusk is a very simple game that delivers big. It doesn’t have complicated controls or fancy graphics but it doesn’t need that. It has charming characters and a great story that will keep pushing you for more. If you’re looking for a good time at a cheap price and don’t mind reading this is the game to get.

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