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DS  header logo

Hotel Transylvania

For: DS

Bed and breakfast

Product: Hotel Transylvania | Developer: WayForward | Format: DS | Genre: Film/ TV tie- in, Platform, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Hotel Transylvania DS, thumbnail 1
I've been playing a game that's set in a looming gothic mansion, with interconnected rooms and pathways. I'm playing as a vampire who beats up zombies and skeletons, and can turn into a bat or a misty apparition. Incredibly, it's not called Symphony of the Night.

It's actually called Hotel Transylvania, and it's a DS (and 3DS) tie-in for the movie of the same name. It uses the Castlevania template, so expect open-world exploration, complex maps, and areas you can't explore until you unlock some new ability.

But it's a highly concentrated take on the Konami classic, which has been so squished and simplified that the charms of Alucard's monster-hunting adventure are all but unrecognisable.

Dawn of Sorrow

For starters, the game is basically one long series of fetch quests. One character's request for you to wander over to the other side of the hotel to pick something up is immediately followed by another, right up until the game comes to an abrupt end.

The eponymous hotel is also nowhere near big enough to warrant this amount of back and forth. There's so little unique content that you'll see the same rooms and fight the same enemies over and over again. This game's got more artificial lengthening than my spam folder.

There are some boss fights, but they're basically the same thing over and over again, and not much fun to play. And don't worry about exploring - there are hardly any secret rooms or passageways, and the only thing you'll find are gems.

These sparkly diamonds will earn you an extra heart for every 200 you find, but because the game's so easy - and because you are only sent back to the start of the current room when you're killed - it's hardly worth the bother.

And then there's the map. It's a largely useless waste of space: it's too small, there's no detail, and the arrow that points to your goal is about as cartographically reliable as Apple's new Maps app. You can't even move the map screen around, even though it sits on the touchscreen.

Portrait of Ruin

The actual platforming is fine - though, what else do you expect from Shantae-developer WayForward?

Teeny-bopper vampire Mavis controls well, and fighting the game's meagre handful of different enemies is satisfying, if simple. She gets an ice-beam style attack to turn enemies into platforms - which is cool - and an electric bolt - which is too slow to be useful - later in the game.

But, jumping on the heads of the same zombies over and over, as you saunter through the same rooms over and over, gets old fast. Hotel Transylvania is a pretty adequate game, and by borrowing from the Castlevania formula it's a lot more fun than the usual tie-in crap that follows a major CGI movie.

But there's no hiding the fact that this game is short, overly simplified, repetitive, and easy. I live in hope that it might convince a curious nipper to graduate to a proper Belmont game in future, but for everyone else this game is just far too shallow to recommend.
Hotel Transylvania
Reviewer photo
Mark Brown | 16 November 2012
Too short, too simple, too easy. This 'My First Castlevania' game is cute and charming, but there's not enough in this hotel to warrant staying the night
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