Hotel Dusk: Room 215

aka: Wish Room: Tenshi no Kioku
Moby ID: 26506
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Description official descriptions

Kyle Hyde, a former New York cop, gets by with a salesman's job. He's sent to Hotel Dusk, a hotel in the middle of nowhere, to search for some particular items. But, as he spends the night there, the secrets and past of the hotel's guests reveal themselves. What is so special about Room 215? What do these people have to hide? It's up to you to take control and find out.

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is an adventure game from the creators of Another Code. The player takes on the role of Kyle Hyde as he searches through Hotel Dusk. You hold the DS in the same manner as you would a book to play. The game takes place in two different perspectives: the touch screen is used to navigate top-down through the hotel, while the top screen displays a first person view of your surroundings. You can strike up a conversation with the guests, and when you do, Kyle, along with any questions you have, appear on the touch screen. The person you're questioning appears on the top screen. When interrogating people, you can stop them at points in conversation and press them for information. However, if you're not careful, you'll arouse suspicion and may even get kicked out of the hotel.

The game also features different kinds of puzzles, ranging from physically using your inventory to manipulate objects (such as jiggling a wire in a lock to pick it), or completing logic puzzles, like assembling a jigsaw. Hotel Dusk also features a unique art style: the characters are drawn in an animated sketchbook-type fashion. Some scenes feature a partially watercolored look, but most of the time the characters themselves appear in black and white.

Spellings

  • ウィッシュルーム 天使の記憶 - Japanese spelling
  • 호텔 더스크의 비밀 - Korean spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Nintendo DS version)

64 People (57 developers, 7 thanks) · View all

Producer
Co-Producers
Director
Game Design/Scenario
Planning Assistant
Main Programming
Programming
Character Design
Character Animation Supervision / Original Character Animation
Character Animation Assistant
Character Animation
Animation Model Capture
  • Totsu, Inc.
  • International Stars & Brains
Map Design
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 77% (based on 70 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 39 ratings with 2 reviews)

Is Kyle Hyde the new Columbo?

The Good
I’m not sure why I chose this game out of the (now extensive) DS library, but having done so, and having managed to complete the adventure, I now feel compelled to write about my experience with this gray-scale draw-and-click drama. Marketed as a true interactive mystery, Hotel Dusk: Room 215 sees players take the role of the anti-social Kyle Hyde, an ex-cop with a sticky-beak and questionable demeanour. Why? Well he’s searching for a long-lost ex-partner. Yes, Hotel Dusk wants you to help Kyle find some closure – the past has been haunting this guy something wicked, and, for a reason that’s only partially explained, Hotel Dusk is supposed to supply him with it.

On beginning a new game, you immediately notice the stylised artistry. Characters are nicely hand-drawn in a sketchy quasi-realistic style, and their motions and gestures look fairly natural, even if very simplified. Some pretty nice cut-scenes are presented, all with a decidedly low-fidelity presentation (film grain and dust-speckles abound), but be warned: these cut-scenes are really the only visual story-telling, and it’s not long before you’ve seen the same events unfold so much that they lose their impact.

The Bad
As Kyle, you check-in (“Check in to Mystery!” the box-art claims), to the ‘Dusk to begin your adventure. So how interactive is this place? Can Kyle scour the premises to the nth-degree, investigating anything that takes his fancy? The short answer is an authoritative “No!” This game is an on-rails adventure, and you’re only given access to people, places and items as the game grants you access to them, not a single second before. There’s an overwhelming sense of playing this game to the narratives discretion – you’re completely at the mercy of the programmer’s pre-scripted events, only triggering new content once a certain unspecified and invisible accomplishment is met.

I don’t think ‘Dusk is a true adventure game; rather, it’s more of an illustrated novella, with only sparse and limited actual game play. When these moments occur, you’re required to use the stylus in a semi-realistic gestural manner, such as wedging a crowbar under a cabinet. Jerk the stylus this or that way, and the mini-task is complete – unfortunately for CING (the developer) your sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction is just as total. I thought “Professor Layton” had several moments where a sense of accomplishment was achieved, (although it had its own problems too), but ‘Dusk offers none of these.

The Hotel itself is very empty, although it is full of guests! Unlike most modern adventure games (I’m talking post 1996), you are not allowed to interact with anyone who is not directly involved in which ever chore you happen to be caught up in this moment. You are directed inflexibly and unreasonably towards the games purposes – you’re a tool Kyle (in more ways than one).

The Bottom Line
Really, this game is playing you, you’re not playing it. It has its own agenda, and you’re just strapped in for the ride. Your big job in this game is auto-scrolling reams of text that challenge the length of “War and Peace”-like, and clicking the occasional preset button/text/item. The mystery solves itself, and there’s nothing you can do about! Speaking of which, the narrative itself is very dull, and resembles a day-time TV drama season final. Sure, to begin with, the possibilities seem interesting, but as the story continues, the potential for intrigue is consistently reduced as the poor story-tree goes about its business of winding-up. I could go on about the games graphical, characters and sonic qualities, but I don’t think that will make a difference to anyone who is interested in a true mystery/adventure title - simply because the narrative content is forgettable and routine. Not recommended.

I’m sorry Hotel Dusk, but I think I checked into Hotel Dull.

Nintendo DS · by So Hai (261) · 2008

A long, intricate and rewarding investigation.

The Good
Having proven they could bring adventure games to the DS with Another Code, developers Cing stepped things up a gear with Hotel Dusk, possibly the most unique adventure game of recent times. Whereas Another Code was a fairly straightforward and short tale, Hotel Dusk is very long and very convoluted, demanding more of the player but no less satisfying for it.

From the start the game aims to be unique, by making you hold the DS on it's side like a book and almost completely ignoring the buttons in favour of the stylus and touch screen. In normal play the touch screen shows a map with which you guide your character, whilst the second screen gives his 1st view in 3D. I did find this initially quite dizzying as my stylus moves weren't always smooth, but this passed. Talking to characters (of which there are a lot) switches to head and shoulders of the interlocutors with occasional chances to interject.

On the whole the interface is relatively intuitive, though the reliance on the stylus results in a lot of screen switching so you can click on objects. As with most adventure games you have an inventory but you can't combine objects, forcing you to first put an item down before using another item on it. This can get tedious.

Just as in Another Code the story in Hotel Dusk is excellent, although a little on the long side. Taken straight from a film noir and transplanted into the late seventies you play Kyle Hyde, an ex-cop who left the force disillusioned after shooting his partner Bradley. Bradley didn't die, but disappeared leaving Kyle searching for him and answers, why did Bradley get mixed up in the Nile criminal ring? Meanwhile Kyle's new job is working for Red Crown, a travelling sales company with a sideline in finding 'lost' things. One such assignment leads Kyle to a fateful night in Hotel Dusk.

As Kyle you live that fateful evening in every detail, as the game takes place in a kind of real-time. This even goes to the extreme of making Kyle eat his dinner which you watch! Time only advances when certain tasks are performed so the player never has to worry about missing a vital detail. With the long and detailed story there's a lot to keep track of. For the first quarter of the game it felt like everyone had a problem that Kyle must clear up. It's a tangled web woven by the game, and fairly fascinating for it.

The Bad
It certainly veers towards being a dodgy psycho-drama. All the actions happen in the drab brown motel, creating a claustrophobic air that several times made me put down the game for a breather. I've already mentioned that the game is long, it's too long really for the limited space of the motel, teasing out every location there's certainly no graphics wasted. As in Another Code all the DS's novel features are used in the various puzzles, sometime feeling as if the developers are checking them off a list.

Seemingly in an attempt at an advancement on Another Code, the first-person navigation ends up a bit more confusing. Having to identify key areas on the DS's low resolution 3D system can be problematic. I preferred Another Code's static first-person renders. Hotel Dusk's control scheme could work a lot better with some smoothing as the view reflects you jerky movements with the stylus.

Another method Cing uses to extract the most out of the hotel is to make you cross and re-cross it which becomes tiresome.

Finally without revealing too much of the plot, I did find it very, very unlikely. It's complex and convoluted to an unbelievable degree that relies heavily of happen-stance.

The Bottom Line
Despite my misgivings about the interface and length, hotel Dusk is still the best adventure game I've played on the DS. Eschewing the child orientated nature of the platform it delivers a portable mature interactive mystery. Perhaps this mismatch of platform and content has not served Cing well. The game's distinctive artwork and tone could be a smash if ported to the adult friendly iPad.

Though too long, it's clear Cing spent a long time creating a rich and rewarding story that stands as a classic adventure game which deserves to be played.

Nintendo DS · by RussS (807) · 2010

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2007 – #2 Best DS Game of the Year
    • 2007 – Best Adventure of the Year

Analytics

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Ben K.

Additional contributors: gamewarrior, Patrick Bregger, Grandy02, FatherJack.

Game added February 13, 2007. Last modified January 26, 2024.