After just being released to the general public last week, Hotel City seems to be descent 2D simulators made by Playfish, the same developers that brought you the famous Restaurant City and Pet Society.
From first glance, Hotel City is a simulator similar that of the old Sim Tower with a little twist of Restaurant City in a mix. For days I was looking at the advertisement while playing with Restaurant City and wonder what Hotel City really is? What sort of new entertainment it can provide me? So without thinking any further I decided to give it a try and click on the advertisement to find out myself.
When I first launched the application in my Facebook account, the game loads rather smoothly with no hiccups or long loading time (Thank goodness that Playfish corrected the load time in their games). Once the loading was completed, I started naming my Hotel (Mabel High) and straight after that, the in game tutorial kicked in. The game tutorial is very straight forward and easy to be pick up by any age group. Instructing new players what to do and how the game interface works.
Hotel City works in 2D side scroll-er environment which allows you to move freely around the screen to get a better view of your hotel with interface carefully placed around the screen. Game settings, building menus and status bars are all placed around the edge of the screen to allow easy access and without blocking the hotel environment. However, what impressed me the most was for a beta version, Playfish has already added various types of furniture and rooms available to be used in the game.
After getting familiar with my new surrounding, I took the next step in creating my new hotel. As a newly established hotel, the game placed you with 3 temporary staff, a lobby area and enough gold to build a cozy hotel with 3 small rooms, a Cleaning Closet and a few extra decorations. Nothing grand when you just start a new establishment really, but good enough to draw a small crowd nevertheless.
Of course a good hotel would not be complete without workers running around entertaining and serving the guest. New staff during the beginning of the game is nameless avatar with red tags calling themselves “Temp Staff”. Unlike the previous Playfish simulator, you cannot just hire any of your friends in your list to replace them, disappointing. One must actually sent out advertisement to recruit your friends as permanent staff to the new hotel. This can be rather troublesome at first since there are not many people playing the game yet and most will ignore your call for help. However, if you do manage to get your friends to work in your new hotel, the reward will be worth your wild as the cost per-shift will be reduced greatly.
Some element of the game play does not seem to change much as my staffs still need to ‘rest’ after a long day at work. Although you do not have to constantly monitor the progress of your workers, you still need to login a day or two to start the next shift. Work shift is presented in 4 different settings for now. The shortest shift will be 2 hours and the longest provided now is around 48 hours, depending on your budget.
Certain improvement from previous Playfish game is the friend list. At the bottom panel you will see the list of your friends will now have a gold indicator, indicating that there is reward to be claim if you visit them. Gone with the days of just wondering who you have not visited for the day and the loot you have missed out.
Finally the only thing that I cannot really do in the game at the moment is to sell all my old furniture or send it to my needy friends as the function is still not available at this stage of development. So, nothing I can do right now but to dump all those old junks inside my garage while waiting for Playfish to enable that feature.
There is little to say about the game graphic really as it looks rather plain and leave a lot of room for improvement. There is a small element of 3D in the game, but it is very hard to notice unless you look very, very careful at the little avatars head. Yes, those little hard working avatar head is actually 3D, but nothing that makes me wow out of my seat really. Seriously, I was actually expected more than just a 3D bobble head.
The music and the sound can do a bit of work. Although it started out nicely, the music can get rather annoying after listening it straight for 10 minutes. The same goes for the sound as people will make various sleeping and yawning noise which is rather irritating. As per-usual, switching off the sound is advisable unless you enjoy listening to the same old thing over and over again.
For now the game looks rather promising for a BETA version. However there are a lot of areas of improvement. Although it is nothing other developers have never done over the years, but for killing time in the office or at school, this game may just keep you occupy for a few minutes of your time. As for me, I will keep my eye on this game from time to time, let us just hope that there will be more contents added by the time the game goes gold.
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