A text-heavy, linear, slow-burning, dialogue-driven point-and-click adventure. Does that sound interesting? I was really looking forward to Hotel Dusk since the studio behind it, Cing, delivered Another Code (also known as Trace Memory) two years prior to this release, received as one of the best adventure titles for the DS. But, having spent a decent amount of time with Hotel Dusk in airports and other soul-diminishing locales,
I think they might have been aiming too high with Hotel Dusk.
Hotel Dusk is presented in an original way, though. The DS is held sideways like an interactive novel, with animated pencil sketches portraying the events and conversations taking place. You play as Kyle Hyde (yeah, I know, just let it go), a door-to-door salesman by trade, who three years earlier served as a cop for the NYPD. Unable to let go of his past, he's soon dragged into a strange turn of events at the hotel.
The developers has dropped the top-down perspective of Another Code in favour of first-person navigation through the environments, giving the player more immediate control over what to investigate. And while 3D movement equals more
running into pixelated walls freedom, the graphics are rather crude.
Gameplay is typical for its genre, with advancement through talking to characters, finding clues and solving puzzles. While there are too few of the puzzles,
the conversations are engaging and very well-written. The people in Hotel Dusk are sympathetic and likeable characters, and you really feel the urge to know their story, which is rare in games. Since the
unskippable conversations slow flow of dialogue really forces the player to adapt to its pace, many gamers will feel obstructed and frustrated, but at the end of the day, we need more games like Hotel Dusk. It's an aquired taste.