Hotel Dusk

20Oct09

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A gritty, noir tale of the mysterious goings on of an out of the way hotel in the middle of nowhere where everybody has a secret and nobody is exactly whom they seem to be.

You play the former detective Kyle Hyde on the search of his treacherous ex-partner while he works as a traveling salesman. What seems like a routine business trip starts to turn weird when you check in, only to learn that someone using your name has recently been there. Coincidence? Your ex-partner?

That’s only the start of the weirdness. After you check in, you’re given the key to Room 215 aka “Wish”. Naturally, all sorts of things that seem out of sorts like an informant you used to know from your police days, a famous novelist, and a mute girl are a handful of the characters you’ll have to interact with.

The gameplay itself is pretty straightforward. The touch screen lets you guide your way around the hotel and maneuver through the puzzles that are scattered throughout like any good mystery game.

Taking a look at the graphics, a couple of different elements are joined together to make an aesthetically pleasing backdrop to watch the mystery unfold. The setting of the hotel itself is roughly watercolored while the characters are more of a sketch style like the A-HA video “Take on Me”.

Some of the triggers to get the time to change, as the chapters of the story are divided up into hour increments, aren’t as obvious as they could be. If you’re not careful, you can spend several hours trying to figure out just which combination of events you’re supposed to make happen before going onto your next objective. (I had a sticking point of about 3 months, wondering why this old lady with one eye just didn’t finish her dinner.)

The only thing that sticks out as a negative about the game is having to hold the DS like a book. It’s supposed to emulate the notebook that Hyde carries around with him, but it just wound up cramping my hand.

All in all, Hotel Dusk is a great game for puzzle and mystery buffs or even your casual whodunnit fan.



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