Bad Hotel Review

By , on August 22, 2012

Bad Hotel
  • Publisher: Lucky Frame
  • Genre: Music
  • Released: 14 Aug, 2012
  • Size: 64.0 MB
  • Price: $1.99
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • Fun, almost literal take on the tower defense genre.
  • Use your ears as a map; hear when your building is OK or in trouble.
  • Quirky Art Deco visual style; pairs perfectly with unique retro/gangster theme.


  • Building/block placement very touchy; easy to find your building quickly spiraling out of control.


  • Bad Hotel is the sort of quirky 'indie' title that helps to make the iOS platform stand out from its peers; tower defense has never been quite so literal and fun.

  • Full Review
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It takes a certain kind of mad clarity to sit there and take the genre of 'Tower Defense' as literally as Bad Hotel does. Conceptually Lucky Frame's game is the same as it ever was - drop blocks as defenses against an onslaught of creatures bent on destroying your base, but this time around you're actually building the eponymous hotel, adding rooms to accommodate tourists and shoot down sentient clouds.

I may have lost you on that last point. See, your task is simple - build a profitable hotel. Unfortunately your boss is a racketeer and is out to claim the insurance on his investment by hiring all kinds of 'natural' foes such as bomb wielding birds, deadly bees, and the occasional irate swimmer. I'm still working out how the last one fits in, but the Art Deco visual style ties it all together to create a vibrant and whimsical atmosphere.

It's also hard not to miss the cacophony of sound generated by your tower as pulses of light ripple through the tree-like structure to power the many rooms connected to it. Initially you'll find that everything chimes harmoniously - think of it as the 'everything is fine' alarm; it's not pretty, but you can relax. However, once a building takes damage or worse still, is destroyed, the pattern changes adding flat notes. In this way the rhythmical pattern acts as a sonar, alerting you to threats to your structure even when you can't see what's happening.

The concept is nothing short of genius, bringing in an often overlooked sense in to play and making it part of your tactical tool-set. Unfortunately the focus on this aspect seems to have resulted in the tactile sense being overlooked instead. Positioning buildings is as 'easy' as swiping and placing them around the tower, however strict placement rules can leave you confused as you try to shield a vital room only to have it placed somewhere else entirely thanks to moving a fraction of an inch before lifting your finger.

This doesn't ruin things though - the intensity of the challenge is almost as non-stop as the waves of enemies thrown at you. From levels that restrict the rooms you can use to huge 'boss' battles, you'll find yourself needing to constantly learn new tactics to overcome each hurdle.

Bad Hotel is a wonderfully compelling side-evolution of the tower defense genre and is heartily recommended for genre fans and those who enjoy unique game concepts.


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