There have been plenty of tower defense games released for the mobile platform, so much that it has since become stale. The genre that first started out has mods for RTS games inspired by the Atari game Rampart, then transitioned to browser games, and finally found a great home in mobile platforms. There have been some good ones like geoDefense and so on, and there are new ones combined with other genres like Rymdkapsel. The genre has become oversaturated though with plenty of titles due to its relative ease and simplicity in development compared to other genres. What it needs now are new titles with fresh concepts and ideas to liven things up.
Bad Hotel by Lucky Frame is a combination of music game and tower defense, which is something that few to none have ever seen before. There had been other tower defense hybrids before it like Rymdkapsel, but none of this particular combination. The presentation is novel eye candy, with fun use of pastel colors and square shapes to create a unique look that is both striking and easy on the eyes. As a music game, it does have a pretty interesting soundtrack that matches the quirky visuals as well, which seems to be a trait common to games made by Lucky Frame.
The gameplay mechanics are simple enough to learn for anyone who is familiar with tower defense games. You get parts that can be purchased, then placed next to a section of the hotel to build it up. When done spontaneously without planning, this process can result in a bad-looking hotel, hence the name of the game. Designs can be made as loose and crude as the player wants, and expansions can be made at any direction. Therefore, in order to create a good-looking hotel with balance and harmony between all the expansions in mind, the player must be knowledgeable in the game and have a plan beforehand.
But it’s not just about building, but also maintaining the hotel and its rooms. Much of the game automates the various processes, and all the player needs to do is to macro-manage and make sure that resources are put to good use at all times. However, it’s also easy to get complacent through all the loops of actions in the game, so constant awareness is still needed in playing this game. Once you do have it though, then you must master how you can keep building as quickly as you can and still be able to build the right types of rooms for the current situation.
The boss battles are also rather interesting, being cleverly designed and quite challenging to play. Unfortunately, the game is quite short, with no online mode for more replay value. Also, the controls aren’t as well-designed as it should be, so expect a bit of a handicap during gameplay. Even though it’s only $1, there are other dollar games with a bit more replay value than this. However, it is easy to just pick up and play, so it is definitely not bad at all in what it does. While it’s not the very best that the tower defense genre has to offer, it’s still does well enough in its attempt to innovate and freshen up the genre.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 7/10