How young was your child when they first played this?
How does your child play this? Alone, with friends, with family? How did they discover it and what kept them coming back for more?
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Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Hotel Dusk 8 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 8 months ago.
You slowly piece together the mystery and discover the hotel has connections to your past. The game is played with the DS held at 90 degrees like a book, and interactions are via the touchscreen, microphone and closeable cover. This sets the scenes for an experience that is as much a detective novel as it is a video game and requires attention to detail and inquisitiveness from the player. There's even a journal to write your notes in.
As you progress you talk to the various hotel patrons and employees to uncover vital information. This culminates with an interrogation scene with a major character at the end of each chapter. Showing characters particular items can also be an important way to gain information or jog their memories. Care is needed, however, as pressing people too hard can confuse, frighten or anger them and result in failure.
There are a series of games from the people who developed this:
- Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS)
- Last Window: The Secret of Cape West (2010) on DS
- Chase: Cold Case Investigations (2016) on 3DS
The result is a game that draws in the curious like a good Agatha Christie book. It's a sad tale with interweaving characters and stories that hold together because of the strong sense of place and time. It's a story about loss, guilt and the human tendency to want closure even if that's not possible.
Rated for younger players in Australia. Rated Parental Guidance (PG) for Mild Themes, Infrequent Mild Violence.
10+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. You need to be willing to do a lot of reading and meticulously search each area. Combining evidence and making connections is also important. Younger players that enjoy the detail of life will rise to this challenge.
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