Y Geek Squad’s Alvin Thomas tries a game with a hotel you can check in any time you like but can (almost) never leave.
It’s a proven fact – thanks to movies such as Psycho, The Shining, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and plenty more – that hotels make the best settings for murders. As unpleasant as that sounds, a hotel is also the setting for our game review this week.
Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is a murder-mystery game that revolves around an alcoholic ex-NYPD police officer, Kyle Hyde, who is in search of his partner Brian Bradley from way back when.
But it’s not your stereotypical noir storyline: Kyle had shot Brian before it all (for reasons unknown, initially), and the ex-cop believes that he’s still alive somewhere. His search finally takes him to a beat-up hotel – Hotel Dusk – in an iffy part of Los Angeles.
It won’t take much time for the player to realise that there’s something oddly fishy going on here, and the graphic-style does a great job in creating suspense across each of the shady characters in the game.
The graphical interface is, arguably, from the early 2000s but then again, the game creates a hook with its intricately-crafted storyline.
As you progress through the game, you can interview numerous hotel guests but every move you make opens a can of worms you wished you hadn’t opened. This is essentially what makes the game more challenging than many others of its era even if it’s a bit tedious at times.
But we’re not complaining.
If anything, this is one of the few games that we prefer as a slow burn. Every dialogue from your interviews is critical to solving the mystery, and there’s always a clue nestling in one of the corners of the room. So, it’s wise to keep your eyes open.
Also, during interrogation, you’ll be given many questions to ask a person. The right answers will yield results but the wrong ones will inevitably – and a bit abruptly – end the game. So, finding the right set of questions is vital to how you progress.
Be that as it may, we’re not taking the suspense away.
Just keep this in mind: there’s something sinister about Room 215, and it’s every bit as menacing as George Orwell’s Room 101.
Developer: Cing, Nintendo
Genre: Nintendo DS