Ask any PC gamer which genre they'd like to see make a come back, and you will generally find many that say the adventure genre. In the 1990s these games boomed with classics such as "Day of the Tenticle", "Indiana Jones" and many others. Unfortunately as games became more complex these primarily went the way of the dodo. The Nintendo DS is single handedly bringing the genre back into gamers eyes and the latest comes from Nintendo themselves in the form of Hotel Dusk: Room 215. This game is an absolutely brilliant idea, although unfortunately with a huge irritation that will almost single handedly kill it for some gamers.
Hotel Dusk is a point and click adventure as you would expect but it relies heavily on its dialogue and story to push the game along. You play as Kyle Hyde, an ex New York cop who was double crossed by his partner and pushed out of the force. Kyle now spends his days working for a company who front as a door to door retailer but in reality perform detective work for clients who will pay. Kyle wants to find his partner and somehow he ends up at Hotel Dusk, where many of his questions will be answered.
There is one thing we can guarantee with this game. The first two to three hour you will be enthralled by its unique style and gameplay and be unable to put it down. However its all down hill from here and there is a number of reasons for that. First of all the game is set in one location and while this location is rather large, it does become a bit drab and boring after a while. Also, the amount of text you have to read in this game is akin to a novel and it's quite a long game. The game play basically has you solving a puzzle, moving to another character and speaking for a long time again.
With that said however we found the game strangely compelling even when we did become bored with the style of the game. Every time we put it down we found ourselves wanting to find out what happened next. This is a game which is excellent for those traveling for two reasons - it will last a while and it's very much a game that is played in thirty to forty minute bursts and you can get a lot done in that time. The puzzles aren't overly taxing either so you won't find yourself stuck very long and as long as you pay attention to what is being said, you will generally know where to go next.
[img]hotekdusk_ds_1[/img]The interactivity of the game is well done. It's the small things like touching the knob on a door to open it, moving the hand to the centre to knock, and peeling labels off a bottle of wine which really use the stylus well, although it's possible to not use the stylus. There is some truly unique puzzles which use the DS functionality well and it's generally these ones you get stuck on.
Visually it is one of the most appealing games on the DS. The game is cel-shaded with a very pencil-like style. It's very hard to describe in words and the screenshots really show you what its like. It is a game which is instantly appealing from a visual standpoint and tends to match that with some compelling gameplay, for at least the first few hours. There is no voice acting which is a huge missed opportunity and the music loops and repeats making the game seeming even more monotonous.
Hotel Dusk is a bit like a Jekyll and Hyde DS game. During some points this well feel like the most original DS game yet, while other times you will feel completely bored but then wonder why, when you switch it off, you want to fire it back up again. It's something all DS players need to play to see what it's like but one thing is for sure, you do need to like reading.