That title is honestly pretty misleading.
Welcome back to Steam Sifter, where I go through the worst and mixed reviewed games on Steam to find any lost gems in the pile of manure. Normally, I will not find good things. Thankfully, this is not a normal find! Today’s game of focus is Bad Hotel, a mobile port by Lucky Frame.
Yes, a mobile port that doesn’t suck. They exist!
I’m kind of amazed this is one of the most negatively rated games on Steam after playing it, but I also kind of get why people seem to dislike it. Unlike most games in this category, the reviews aren’t particularly venomous, but there’s apparently something about this game’s design that seems to put off a large majority of players. From what I glanced, most of the complaints come from the game’s advertising.
See, Bad Hotel really tries to make itself look much more interesting than it is. The trailer has a pretty sick track playing, and the description promises a unique musical experience where building additions to your hotel causes music to play and grow increasingly complex. It also advertises that there are Wu Tang references in it. I’m pretty sure the people who handled the marketing for this game aren’t marketers.
The Wu Tang references might as well not exist, just thrown out in a menu or transition here and there. What matters here are the core mechanics. The game is a tower defense game, where you manage a hotel that a gangster who has a stake in it keeps trying to destroy for insurance money. He also keeps giving you new building types to work with, because hey, you always keep your promises to your client. He makes use of all sorts of weird junk too, like pigeons with bombs and sentient clouds. What, you don’t think gangsters haven’t studied how to weaponize clouds? They can be almost anywhere at any time, and what court would ever convict a cloud?
As mentioned before, you can add buildings to your main hotel, including room add-ons for extra cash flow, turrets, mine shooters, freeze guns, and other fun stuff. The simplicity of the design is really welcome, as you just use the mouse to drag buildings onto the field and drop them next to another building. Simple! From there, you just try to protect your hotel and survive to the end of the level, with a bar showing you how long you have and when the next enemy waves start.
The music creation doesn’t actually exist, you just change the music with little control as you set down buildings. That’s it. But it’s still a nice touch. The game feels very zen, using a simple art deco style and a mix of minimalism, along with a subdued series of tracks. It’s easy to lose yourself in the game at times, creating a style that benefits most from you not really appreciating it when it the moment. I also like how all the characters have very basic features that let you tell them all apart from a glance. They don’t stay in your head, but they have a life on screen.
It’s just a nice little five dollar tower defense game, yet also incredibly disliked. It goes to show how important first impressions are. Bad Hotel tries to make itself out as something really special to move copies, but all that did on Steam is make a whole mess of users rate it very poorly and probably affect its sales. It also shows how weirdly judgmental some players can be.
A lot of complaints relate to length and the game’s simplicity. It advertises it comes from mobile. It’s a tower defense game. Come on guys. A blind buy review is one thing, but for so many negative reviews, something had to have happened here. As far as I can see, though, it really was just backlash at the marketing. It’s kind of amazing a single trailer is enough to hype people up (and it wasn’t even that good of a trailer).
But yeah, Bad Hotel gets a thumbs up from me, maybe wait for a sale if this isn’t quite your normal bag but you’re still interested. Hopefully I’ll find unexpected treasures again next time …but I doubt it.
The finds so far:
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