Review by Gruel

"Now you can compete with Motel 6!"

I thought I have seen simulation games for just about everything you can think of. There have been simulation games for cities, towers, people, railroads, and roller coasters. Then just when you think they can’t come up with anything else, you’re wrong. Thanks to the publishers at JoWood, we now have the ability to simulate our own hotel business with their new game, Hotel Giant! You will start off at the bottom of pile, competing with the chain of Motel 6 and Super 8 hotels. After enough practice, and years of experience, we hope we’ll find ourselves competing the top class hotels like, dare I say it, Holiday Inn. Of course, those actual licenses aren’t used in this game, but I’m sure Sega would snatch them up. Any company that picks up the Dole Bananas license would pick up name brand hotel licenses for this type of game!

Hotel Giant isn’t a game you can pick up and play because of the steep learning curve. Thankfully, Hotel Giant includes an in-depth tutorial mode that will get you acquainted with how to run your own hotel. People who spent hours playing The Sims will be happy to know that a familiar toolbar interface is being used with this game. Easy to access options will help you get opinions from the guests in your hotel. Use their feedback to help determine what you need to acquire in order to boost your revenues.

As your business grows, you’ll be adding multiple floors to your hotel to satisfy the growing needs of your guests. There are many things you can choose to add to your hotel such as arcades, swimming pools, restaurants, conference rooms, and bars. There are plenty of other things to watch out for as you manage your hotel. You also have to keep an eye on your payroll for your employees, and make sure they’re satisfied so they don’t end up quitting on you. Then there is the advertising industry where you want to make sure you’re franchise is getting recognized by sending out promotional packages, and keeping up with advertising in the media.

There are so many things to keep with in Hotel Giant, that you’ll most likely forget some tasks every now and then. For example, while customizing your hotel to your liking, you’ll completely forget about managing your payroll and advertising needs. This makes managing your hotel get too complex at times. It’s my biggest complaint about the game engine, because I think the developers packed in too many bells and whistles to handle.

The graphics in Hotel Giant are similar to The Sims, as a matter of fact, they’re almost identical. When you view your hotel’s interior, you’ll see all the rooms, and corridors being cutoff exactly how it’s done in The Sims. The building designs aren’t the only thing that seem to be ripped from The Sims. The actual guests and employees that populate your hotel appear to be modeled closely to the characters found in The Sims. The toolbar interface from The Sims also seems to have rubbed off in Hotel Giant. One unique feature found in this area is the camera. You can select to have an isometric view for one of your guests and follow them as they go about your hotel.

The hotels themselves look gorgeous, with a plethora of textures you can apply to them. The various types of businesses ran in the hotels like arcades, bars, and restaurants have a realistic appeal to how you would find them in actual hotels. Hotel Giant runs at a decent frame rate which you can adjust in the game’s settings. The main loading time to boot up your hotel is awfully long, and could take up to a full minute.

Since Hotel Giant was having a blast ripping off The Sims in the graphical department, I was thinking they’d do the same for the sound. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. I was hoping to find some of that fine gibberish that’s spoken in The Sims, but no such luck. You’ll hear various sound effects that accompany the proper rooms as you go by them. I enjoy the selection of background music that Hotel Giant features. It has that classical kind of feeling to it, and it fits this type of game well.

There are a few ways to play Hotel Giant. The ones that you’ll be spending the most time in are in the campaigns. The learning campaign is a great way to get familiar with the game. Then, there is the “giant campaign” which is the main story mode in Hotel Giant. After those modes, we have “random campaign” where you get stuck in a random scenario for your hotel, and have to make a quick fix in order to succeed. That’s about it for all the ways you can play, and I understand it’s a single player game, but some sort of global ranking system would’ve been a great touch.

RATINGS

Graphics: 6.0
Sound: 7.4
Game play: 7.1
Replay Value: 6.5

Overall: 6.7

Hotel Giant proved to be a decent simulator, but didn’t have anything that stood out too much. There are plenty of ways to customize and build your hotel, but there are just way too many extra options to tinker around with to enjoy the game. If you’re a big fan of simulation games, then I recommend you give this a try, but if you only want the best, you might want to wait for a sequel.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/20/02, Updated 10/20/02


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