Bad Hotel Review

Bad Hotel Review

Jan 22, 2014

Bad Hotel is a truly unique take on tower defence. It lets the player build a huge, musical oddly shaped hotel bristling with guns and mines. What other game does that?

Screenshot_2014-01-17-11-52-01Bad Hotel is at its heart a tower defence game but it looks nothing like one. Basic rooms that generate money form the basic body of your hotel. This money pays for additional rooms.

A constant stream of weird enemies, such as waves of kamikaze birds, strange clouds and random people charge in to smash the hotel down. Luckily, like any TD game the player can place defences such as gun turrets, mine throwers and rooms that heal other rooms next to them. The catch is that defensive rooms do not make money, which is needed to keep adding more rooms to get a higher score. Thus the player needs to find balance between money generating rooms and enough defences to defend them from the feathered threat.

Screenshot_2014-01-17-12-00-03Bad Hotel awards points not only on the number of rooms that survive a level, but also how tall your hotel is. Building upwards is something that hasn’t really been done in TD before. This unique angle doesn’t really change the actual mechanics of TD too much as the gameplay is mostly about placing defences in ways that kill off enemies in the least amount of time before they can actually reach your structures. The way that enemies can come from anywhere and the money angle forces a very different strategy from most tower defence games.

Bad Hotel has some unique graphics that really give the game a look all of its own. Strange angular characters mesh well with bright colours to give Bad Hotel a great look that really stands out. The garish color paltte looks like it shouldn’t work but it melds together very well.

The sound is equally surreal. A great touch in Bad Hotel is that each room placed plays a note every few seconds. Placing rooms at different heights and positions create different notes. Thus building hotels different ways makes different songs. This is a great addition and makes it fun to experiment with room placement to see what tunes can be created.

The game’s dialogue is a fun read too before each level an angry hotel building Texan tells you what to expect and tis soon clear he’s simply trying to have the hotels you build destroyed to claim the insurance money. Funny stuff.

Bad Hotel is a surreal, enjoyable take on tower defence and anyone looking for something a little different should have a great time with it.

Bad Hotel Among Three Games Added to Humble Bundle for PC & Android 8

Bad Hotel Among Three Games Added to Humble Bundle for PC & Android 8

Dec 24, 2013

It’s Christmas Eve, and here comes Humble Bundle delivering more games for the Humble Bundle for PC and Android 8. Those who pay above the current $4.25 average get bundle veterans Solar 2, The Bard’s Tale, and the Android debut of Bad Hotel by Lucky Frame on Android. The bundle ends on New Year’s Eve. Happy holidays!

Savant Ascent, Gentlemen, and Why the Humble Store is Becoming an Interesting Way to Distribute Android Games

Savant Ascent, Gentlemen, and Why the Humble Store is Becoming an Interesting Way to Distribute Android Games

Aug 16, 2013

Interestingly, Humble is slowly expanding from just offering Android games as parts of bundles, and is starting to become an option for developers to distribute their games in unorthodox ways.

Savant Ascent from D-Pad Studio, an arcade shooter featuring the music of Savant, isn’t available on Google Play yet. But an Android version can be had from the game’s Humble widget on the site. Buying a copy of the game on PC gets the Android version as well, and it’s the only way to get it at the moment, though a Google Play version is planned.

Gentlemen2

What Lucky Frame is doing with Gentlemen!, their multiplayer-focused title, is a bit different. It’s designed for tablets, but people have wanted to run it on their phones. Now, Lucky Frame advises against this, but it’s something that they can provide now. By buying the Humble version of the game, players get the PC/Mac version of the game, along with access to the APK. They can run it on whatever device they want,, and see why it probably is better on tablets. However, Lucky Frame sitll is selling the game on Google Play, and the advantage there? They can provide a more curated experience as far as compatibility goes.

I’ve also talked to at least one other developer who is interested in using Humble to fulfill backer rewards from Kickstarter. This would allow them to distribute the game freely to backers without having to worry about Google Play’s lack of promo codes.

Thanks to the bundles that have been selling, users might just have an awareness that Humble exists as an option, and with various new distribution scenarios popping up, especially in light of Google’s lack of support for distributing promo copies, it could be a route more developers go down, especially with the rise of cross-platform tools like Unity that make releasing on Android easier than ever.

The Hills Are Greener: Who Would Want to Steal From a Gentleman?

The Hills Are Greener: Who Would Want to Steal From a Gentleman?

Jul 22, 2013

I’ve ranted a lot about piracy and the benefits of Android’s openness recently. However, a recent revelation from developer Lucky Frame seems to underscore how bad the problem is: their new game Gentlemen! had 8 paid downloads with 2,462 pirated copies downloaded as of this past Friday, a couple days after release. Ouch.

Now, my initial reaction is that this is a disgusting thing, that Android gamers need to support original paid content on the platform. But I think there’s other factors in play here besides “Android users are filthy pirates.”

Consider the “8 copies” number and the nature of Gentlemen!: it’s a same-device multiplayer game for tablets only, priced at $4.99. Yeah, that’s not exactly a recipe for success on Android. Paid apps can sell on Android, but this kind of app seems like a hard sell.

Gentlemen2

I’d all but guarantee that the game’s pirated downloads were almost automatic by nature, from a community that probably just pirated the game because, hey, new release. The 30000% piracy rate is unsustainable.

The release wasn’t a serious endeavor, it seems: the game was built in Unity, and it was kind of released on Android just because it was possible. So, this isn’t a story of heartbreak, thankfully. Though I wouldn’t blame Lucky Frame if they decided to skip Android in the future.

What this does underscore that the Android market is different. Yes, Android’s technical nature makes it easier to pirate apps versus iOS, so it’s likely that Android apps will always have a higher piracy rate. But maybe it’s different in that certain games just won’t sell as well on Android, either. Thanks to Apple’s marketing, an iPad feels like a ‘concept’ as much as it does a product, and Android just doesn’t have that in quite the same way. So marketing for ‘tablets’ isn’t going to feel the same. Especially at a $4.99 price point, a tough sell on any mobile platform.

So sure, would I like to see piracy rates not be so bad for developers launching on Android? Sure. Would I like to see games from creative developers like Lucky Frame succeed on Android? Sure. But some realism needs to be considered when looking at why a game may or may not be doing so well.