boss▲battle Review - Bad Hotel (iOS)
Perhaps the most bizarre Adult Swim-esque game not to be pumped out by that double-malt cray-cray TV network’s publishing house, Bad Hotel by Lucky Frame is one of those games where just factually recounting what it’s all about makes you sound like a frothing maniac. If this next sentence sounds too bonkers for you, then you’ll know whether this is right for you: A Texas asshole is trying to topple your hotel, using everything at his disposal to accomplish his task, from dispatching birds strapped bombs to a cloud militia. Your only defense is planting rooms attached to the hotel’s core tower. There are offensive rooms (ones that shoot mines, ones that shoot bullets) and defensive rooms (ones that heal damaged rooms, and “ice rooms” that temporarily slow down the approaching bullet hell).
Oh, one other thing. It’s also a rhythm game. Sorta. It sounds like a marketing ploy, but there are rhythm elements there to take advantage of if you’re eagle-eared and desperate enough to use it to your advantage. To clarify, the rooms you construct — which you can build in any direction, both above and underground — have peripheral benefits that only get activated when it’s their “turn” in the measure of music they’re a part of. Building up or down slows down the pace, which means you make less money or get healed less often — but you have more concrete absorbing the blows from those directions. Building left or right will add more sonic elements to each measure.
Yeah. It’s kinda weird. But it’s a great reminder that the iPhone isn’t meant for ports of old adventure games or, God forbid, ports of stuff like Smash TV. Those games are fine as-is. Games like Bad Hotel serve as a reminder of the unlimited potential Apple’s device still holds that few others have even thought of. And it’s ALSO an educational look at the plight of the modern entrepreneur as he attempts to stave off the attacks of big business. From what I understand, Donald Trump did erect Trump tower by unleashing a baker’s dozen messenger pigeons with C4 crowns into Time Square 60 years ago, so, hooray, learning!
Bad Hotel is a $1.99 download on the App Store, and you need to have some sort of touch device made by the fruit company to play it.
David Wolinsky is a new guy in the Boss Battles bestiary, but is old hat at writing about games. He’s a contributor to the E3 Show Daily paper for convention-goers, reviews and writes about games for a wide variety of publications like Wired, Topless Robot, Geekbox, @Gamer, Edge, and Adult Swim. He’s also a comedy-writing instructor at Second City. He tweets about his life here, and about wildly inaccurate facts about cats (cat facts) here.