Hotel Mario
for CD-i

Mr Creosote:
Company: Philips Interactive Media
Year: 1994
Genre: Action
Theme: Cartoon & Comic / Misc. Fantasy
Language: English
Licence: Commercial
Views: 1918
Review by Mr Creosote (2022-08-20)

A fun little throwback to Nintendo's main mascot's humble beginnings as well as other early arcade classics such as Elevator Action, Hotel Mario has the eponymous hero running and jumping through a large number of single screen stages. Attempting to close doors carelessly left open by cuddly monsters. Yes, this is how much sense games made back in the early 1980s.

Cutscenes by everyone's favourite, Animation Magic

The core mechanic is quite good. Mario's move repertoire is limited to running, jumping, entering doors (to avoid enemies) and closing them. Some hallucinogen power-ups can enhance it temporarily, but essentially, you have to do with those basics.

From these constraints, focus is on exact movement and good timing. Avoiding enemies or disposing of them with the well-known stomping approach is occasionally tricky when another one is moving close on the platform above. Different enemy types even behave differently, but never in too complex patterns.

The graphics are rather nice to look at. Backgrounds change frequently and sprite animations are good. The music is also pleasant to the ears. The controls work as expected and thankfully, the action is not too fast, in line with senior reflexes like mine.

Still many doors to close

The good thing about this is that while not relying too much on these only, the game nevertheless keeps you on your toes at all times. Apart from the danger of overall timeout, speed is of essence because enemies will also re-open previous closed doors. Sending you on a frantic chase all the way to the other side of the hotel again in the worst case. Giving opportunity once more to all those other doors to be opened as well. Proving once and for all that genocide is the best strategy available. Won't open any more doors now that you're dead, will you? Mwahahaha!

Ahem… anyway, concluding on the topic at hand, this one is definitely recommended. Like the bulk of the CD-i's game library, it was a bit of a throwback to a different era gameplay-wise. Though nostalgia didn't begin in this millenium, did it? Wait a minute? Does this make the CD-i the first console for retro enthusiasts?

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