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by Stuart Andrews
Nintendo DS, January 2007
Game pages

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

I'm not generally a fan of any type of computer game, but HOTEL DUSK: ROOM 215 was a total revelation, and a brilliant one at that. From the start, I was intrigued, fascinated, and captivated by this game. It's part hard-boiled detective story and part mystery story, and the player has to use all their wits to solve the 30-year-old mystery that involves lies, treachery, and murder. With the proceedings taking place during the course of the night, this is a moody tale which pulls you in from the word go.

Welcome to the world of disgraced former police officer-turned-salesman Kyle Hyde. Hyde may be a salesman but he also finds things that do not want to be found. Sent by his employer to Hotel Dusk to track down some things, he finds himself still trying to solve what happened to his corrupt ex-partner Ed Bradley who double-crossed him. He was kicked off the force after a major bust went wrong and the last thing he did was to shoot his double-crossing partner but the body has never been found.

Kyle turns up to Hotel Dusk where there's a coterie of people whom somehow or other are all linked to his hunt for his former partner. Who is the young woman who refuses to speak but wears the bracelet last seen on the wrist of his former partner? Is it a coincidence that one of the petty crooks that he used to arrest is now hiding out in Hotel Dusk as well working as the bell-hop? Who is the person that stayed at Hotel Dusk six months ago and registered under his name? What is the significance of Room 215?

HOTEL DUSK: ROOM 215 is a brilliant interactive game that tests your detecting skills. As you make your way through the various conversations, you learn bits and pieces of the story, which lead you to the various clues scattered around the hotel. The questions have to be asked and answered in a certain way so that you can progress through the different branches of the storyline. One false move and you find yourself being evicted from the hotel.

This is a stylish Chandleresque game that is as absorbing as it is captivating. It is most certainly unique. To say that I was hooked is putting it mildly. Nintendo are certainly on to a winner with this game. I hope that there are some more of this type of addictive game on the horizon. If so I can barely wait. So check into Hotel Dusk and see if you can resolve the puzzle.

Reviewed by Ayo Onatade, March 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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