Bad Hotel iPhone Gameplay Review –
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Bad Hotel iPhone Gameplay Review –

August 30, 2019

It takes a certain kind of mad clarity to
sit there and take the genre of ‘Tower Defense’ as literally as Bad Hotel does. Conceptually
Lucky Frame’s game is the same as it ever was – drop blocks as defenses against an onslaught
of creatures bent on destroying your base, but this time around you’re actually building
the eponymous hotel, adding rooms to accommodate tourists and shoot down sentient clouds. I may have lost you on that last point. See,
your task is simple – build a profitable hotel. Unfortunately your boss is a racketeer and
is out to claim the insurance on his investment by hiring all kinds of ‘natural’ foes such
as bomb wielding birds, deadly bees, and the occasional irate swimmer. I’m still working
out how the last one fits in, but the Art Deco visual style ties it all together to
create a vibrant and whimsical atmosphere. It’s also hard not to miss the cacophony of
sound generated by your tower as pulses of light ripple through the tree-like structure
to power the many rooms connected to it. Initially you’ll find that everything chimes harmoniously
– think of it as the ‘everything is fine’ alarm; it’s not pretty, but you can relax.
However, once a building takes damage or worse still, is destroyed, the pattern changes adding
flat notes. In this way the rhythmical pattern acts as a sonar, alerting you to threats to
your structure even when you can’t see what’s happening. The concept is nothing short of genius, bringing
in an often overlooked sense in to play and making it part of your tactical tool-set.
Unfortunately the focus on this aspect seems to have resulted in the tactile sense being
overlooked instead. Positioning buildings is as ‘easy’ as swiping and placing them around
the tower, however strict placement rules can leave you confused as you try to shield
a vital room only to have it placed somewhere else entirely thanks to moving a fraction
of an inch before lifting your finger. This doesn’t ruin things though – the intensity
of the challenge is almost as non-stop as the waves of enemies thrown at you. From levels
that restrict the rooms you can use to huge ‘boss’ battles, you’ll find yourself needing
to constantly learn new tactics to overcome each hurdle. Bad Hotel is a wonderfully compelling side-evolution
of the tower defense genre and is heartily recommended for genre fans and those who enjoy
unique game concepts.

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  1. This isn't an 8-bit game. This game is very much in tune with Japanese esthetics which are often more abstract and empty compared to Western tastes. Just think of those old ink drawings.

  2. Don't confuse Japanese style with anime or manga. Read up on Japonism. Look at how it has influenced art and video games (e.g. Kirby). The visual language has become so commonplace that you don't recognise it as being Japanese anymore.

    Basically anything with a flat background, pure forms and little detail can be traced back to Japan. Western art has always been about detail.

  3. Interesting theory, Andrew, but I honestly don't see it. What makes you conclude that? Art deco is more elaborate and uses strong bold lines and compositions.

    Keep in mind that Japonism isn't a style, it's a term used to mark a Japanese influence on Western arts. Just look at those clouds, they look like Kirby (00:26)!

  4. Indeed, some up-close screenshots show art deco elements in the hotels and backgrounds. It seems they drew their inspiration from several sources.

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