Reviewed by Jimmy | 02.02.07
Hotel Dusk Room 215 uniquely creates an original story book active adventure that forces gamers to open their DS like a book. If adventure mysteries is your thing, Nintendo's exclsuive Hotel Dusk will leisurely greet you and put you up its best suite Room 215.
Hotel Dusk Room 215 is ambitious DS game that makes new use out of the DS's dual screens reviving a genre that has been left for dead on the PC. I'm referring to point and click adventures, of course. The PC is the graveyard where most Point-and-Click games rest their bytes, usually unknown and unloved. Hotel Dusk provides a new set of eyes and approach that has made a world of difference translating a PC styled game to a handheld. Hotel Dusk Room 215 is a wonderful breath of fresh air crammed into a market full of cute animations and typical long winded role-playing games.
When you begin your journey into the strange world of Hotel Dusk: Room 215 you will immediately be stricken by Hotel Dusks unique approach to using the Nintendo DS. Dusk's original presentation and unique approach to storytelling represents adventure in the purest form heavily influenced by classic detective styled film noir. Like a digital Novel, you will be reading and clicking your way along the adventure, one digital screen at a time. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 has all the charm in the world, and if you enjoy a good mystery, you will be hooked within seconds.
In Hotel Dusk you assume the role of ex police officer turned door to door salesman, Kyle Hyde. Kyle's latest assignment for Red Crown sales has him stationed in a quiet part of town in an old run down hotel, Hotel Dusk. Kyle using his detective instincts quickly takes note of the strange setting and set of circumstances that rekindles thoughts from his past. Hotel Dusk is strange, methodical, and eerie and even when you put the game down you'll be wondering what happens next. I found Hotel Dusk to be extremely addictive and one game I had to keep with me at all times.
Hotel Dusk is like an interactive Novel which focuses mainly on dialog, clue building and searching. This could be nock towards the game style because the pace is slow with minimal amount of on screen action. If you're a firm action gamer, Hotel Dusk might put you asleep, so beware, Hotel Dusk is slow, like syrup. runs slow, but tastes great. If you accept the pace of the story then you will find a rewarding, innovative gaming experience. Understandably Hotel Dusk wouldn't be the same if it was faster with more action, one major reason why Hotel Dusk makes an impact is the recreation of an old drawn out crime drama.
Besides reading you will have a few puzzles you will have to solve, a notepad to quickly jot down notes, along with an interesting roster of characters to interact with. From the eye patched old lady, messed up young bellhop, and angelic memory lapse mystery girl, and more, the cast is more than plentiful to make an interesting story line. The story along with the atmosphere is Hotel Dusks greatest achievement, when you're in the moment it will feel real, you will feel like a super sleuth, you become Kyle Hyde.
Rounding off the Hotel Dusk experience is its unique approach to the graphics and sideways presentation. Using both realistic graphics and sketch drawings piece together Hotel Duks striking graphics. The audio is lightly filled with slight sound effects and forgettable light jazz styled background music. It would have been nice to have full voice work for Hotel Dusk, but that would have been a lengthy process that possibly wouldn't have fit on a DS cartridge.
Even though Hotel Dusk is light on the audio side, the subtle approach works when the visuals are so strong. I applaud the innovative combination of graphical styles, their use and the games subject matter make Hotel Dusk stunning new approach to story telling. If anything Hotel Dusk gives off a brief aroma of Max Payne, but honestly I've never played a game with the same film noir flair as Hotel Dusk.
Hotel Dusk gets a strong recommendation for any adventure gamers, Hotel Dusk is a must have title. Beware; even though Hotel Dusk has an intriguing story, great atmosphere and an interesting look, you have to like to read. Word heavy, Hotel Dusk won't appeal to gamers who need action and constant stimulation. If you can sit back and read a novel, then you will more than enjoy Hotel Dusk: Room 215 for the Nintendo DS.
Gameplay: 8, Graphics/Sound: 8.5, Innovation: 8.5, Mojo: 8. Final: 8.5 / 10
Excellent Plot Development, Atmospheric Design, Innovative Presentation
Slow Pace, Low Replay Value
Players hold their Nintendo DS like a book and use the touch screen to grill characters, search for clues and solve mystifying puzzles.
Simple point-and-click touch screen navigation players of any skill level can play.
Innovative sketch animation character design, film noir camera angles, and dynamic lighting.