Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (2007)

Genre: Mystery / Puzzle  | Players: 1 | Developer: Cing 

In this interactive mystery novel you control Kyle Hyde, a down on his luck ex-New York cop on the road to nowhere, that is until he spends a night in Hotel Dusk's room 215. The NDS game opens with Hyde dreaming of his past life as a detective and the life-changing event which led him to his current position, a salesman for Red Crown. Beneath the guise of door-to-door peddler he also recovers lost items on the side for his boss.

His next excursion brings him to Nevada on the last dregs of '79. As he makes his way towards his destination we get an eyeful of the unique art direction, best described as a nod to 80's band A-ha's music video for "Take On Me" as characters are mainly seen as sketchy outlines. A handful of animations for each comprise their movement. An easygoing tune fills the air as we also get an earful of the mood-setting music which pervades the games notable OST.

Gameplay is made up of touch screen interactions which range from something as simple as piecing together a children's jigsaw puzzle to picking a lock, but what really moves the story along is using Hyde's detective intuitions to reveal other characters' secrets through key conversations. These prompt multiple choice answers and if you choose correctly, each person's truth will lead Hyde closer to his own. It's as if the guests of Hotel Dusk are all just tumblers in a lock, waiting for you to line them up.

With minor plot holes and a thought-provoking ending, the game compensates with the option to replay from the beginning on your save file. Certain events and interactions will be different and it allows you to continue to deduce the multi-layered plot. While not the most exciting ride, players should enjoy Hotel Dusk: Room 215 for what it really is: a well concocted mystery.

Buyer's Guide:
Available on Nintendo DS only.

5 painful confessions out of 5

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