A Fun Little Frenzy
DeusCraft’s Grand Hotel Mania provides a somewhat unique take on the typical idle hotel management game. As expected, you start out in charge of a single hotel and must deal with the unceasing demands of its clientele. Inexplicably, Monica and Ted are the only employees of the Golden Apple Hotel. You must direct them, prioritizing the order in which they cater to guests, so that visitors won’t become impatient and leave. The bottom line is receiving profits and thumbs up from your guests.
To properly keep the hotel’s operation running smoothly, you initially start out controlling only Ted. He serves as the bellhop, yet essentially fills almost all the roles in the hotel. He cleans vacated rooms and maintains the kitchen, rushing coffee, pasta and other dishes to the guests. This results in some frantic and somewhat exciting gameplay for an idle game, and you’ll quickly learn that keeping both hands ready to react will lead to greater success.
Born to Hand Jive
Gameplay in Grand Hotel Mania is divided into levels, each with different requirements. For example, don’t lose a single customer, don’t discard any items, or don’t miss any orders. It’s probably easiest to describe a basic level to explain what I mean.
Let’s say the level’s requirement is to earn a certain amount of money and likes from guests. In three short minutes, 11 guests will visit the hotel. They must be checked in and, almost as soon as they enter their rooms, they begin asking for treats from the kitchen. You control Ted and must prioritize which orders to fill first. The amount of time required to prepare a bowl of pasta versus a cup of coffee and the distance between one waiting guest and another must be taken into account. Up to four commands can be queued at once, but Ted can only carry two things at a time. Take too long and customers will grow angry, causing the hotel to lose profits and likely a thumbs up as well.
Some guests place multiple orders in a row; others check out right away. When the rooms become vacant, Ted must grab supplies from the cleaning cart and prep the room for the next guest. As the game progresses, visitors begin to request particular room types. It becomes even more vital to keep rooms clean and ready for new customers. If they aren’t clean, visitors won’t be able to check in, may grow impatient, and leave.
This makes for some hectic task juggling that provides a really fun diversion for a while. I played with both hands at the ready. Under the direction of one thumb, Ted would grab some coffee and hustle it to a guest, while the other thumb collected money from departing customers.
Gimme a Boost
At first, Monica at the front desk only checks customers in and out of the hotel. In later levels, she begins to have multiple tasks to juggle as well, such as calling taxis for guests. This means you begin to control both Ted and Monica at the same time. Scrambling to complete multiple tasks at once as a timer ticks down can be a little stressful but is pretty entertaining as well.
To improve your chances of success, you have access to a variety of boosts. There are some for use before entering a level and others that can be accessed within the level, usually out of desperation. Pre-level boosters include winged boots that let Ted and Monica zip around the hotel at a faster speed and a stopwatch to reduce the amount of time it takes to complete tasks. In-level boosters include a genie lamp that instantly cleans all dirty rooms and fireworks that distract customers and refill their patience gauges.
You can also use money and gems earned from completing levels to upgrade various areas of the hotel. Decrease the amount of time it takes Ted to clean rooms or prepare food, upgrade the rooms and kitchen so that they command higher prices, or pretty up the reception desk so that guests will wait more patiently.
Some of these upgrades unlock as soon as paid for, but others require several hours for renovations to be completed. You may choose to reduce this time by watching in-game advertisements or by using gems. You can earn additional gems by watching ads, reaching milestones as you complete levels, or as a daily login bonus.
A Diamond in the Rough?
While the game definitely wants you to spend money and is not shy about tossing sales and other enticements in your face, so far I’ve been able to play Grand Hotel Mania without spending a dime. Watching advertisements truly feels like a choice and never seems obtrusive or mandatory. I’ve been able to fund my hotel upgrades with profits from completing levels, sitting through a few ads a day, and a little patience.
Grand Hotel Mania is definitely a game worth trying. It will provide hours of entertainment. Just don’t expect it to hold your attention for long. Despite the generally positive response I’ve had towards the game, I likely won’t be playing it for much longer. Yes, it’s exciting and fun. Yes, it provides a unique interpretation of the standard hotel management sim. However, it quickly feels same-y. Level after level, hotel after hotel, upgrade after upgrade… It loses its charm rather quickly. There’s nothing wrong with the game per se. It just doesn’t keep its luster for long, and you soon realize that what you thought was a diamond might just be a nicely sparkling piece of glass.
Is It Hardcore?
While Grand Hotel Mania isn’t particularly hardcore and loses its novelty fairly quickly, the game will prove to be an entertaining diversion for a little while.