Bad Hotel Review

Bad Hotel

Developer: Lucky Frame

Release Date: October 16th, 2013

Available on: Mobile, PC

Bad Hotel is an odd tower defense game, one that has you assemble a hotel out of various rooms to balance generating cash and fighting off attackers. There’s not really much story to speak of in the game. You’re just some hotel owner trying to protect his hotel from being knocked down by Tadstock, who wants to collect the insurance money off its destruction. That’s about as deep as the plot gets, and that’s okay. It’s not the real focus of the game.

Instead the game is more concerned about the gameplay. You start with just a central room of which you build other rooms off of. Because the rooms are connected you have to carefully plan how you build. If a room is not connected to anything it’ll break automatically. This means that if you build a tower and the middle gets destroyed then you lose everything above it. Building underground is also an option. Rooms built underground can’t be attacked by enemies, but provide no defense for the central building.

In the game you have several types of rooms. Some rooms do nothing more than generate money and take the brunt of the attack. Others can have machine guns, mines, or rocket launchers attached to them to help combat the invading enemy force. There’s one room that can heal other damaged rooms and one that can freeze enemies in place for a little bit. Finally there’s “bonus” rooms which explode upon being placed and shoot out a wave of bullets, missiles, mines, or ice blasts. The game starts to get difficult pretty early in and requires creative use of the rooms you have available in each level. The toughest levels are the ones which deny use of your offensive towers. In these levels all (or most, at least) of the enemies are kamikazes and your goal is to block and survive the onslaught. From the start all 26 levels are unlocked so if you ever find a level too challenging you can skip it and go back later.
A typical hotel build

I do like that the game encourages creative level solving. During one of the defensive levels I was able to win by building a ton of healing rooms underground and letting my main building take the hits and get repaired faster than it could be damaged. Each of the five stages ends in a boss fight against an enemy with a unique attack pattern. The bosses can be frustrating as there’s no way to direct your rooms to shoot at something specific. They just shoot at whatever is closer to the central tower. Since bosses tend to be highly mobile and summon other enemies, boss fights tend to drag on longer than it feels they need to. The game doesn’t outstay it’s welcome at least, only clocking in at about 5 hours before I had all the levels I could beat, well… beat. After you complete the game you can replay any level using any choice of rooms you want, rather than the ones the game assigns you.

My biggest criticism of this game comes from it’s sound design though. The game is set up so the music that plays is dependent on which rooms you have and how far away from the center they are. The problem with that is that the music will end up as this awful assortment of random instruments banging and clanking into other random instruments. Bad Hotel ends up with the dubious honor of being the first game that I’ve actively muted. I know this sounds like a minor complaint, but I actually found it difficult to continue playing the game with music so bad.

Bad Hotel is a fun, if difficult, tower defense game. If you’re willing to put up with the music then it can be worth playing.

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