Deconstructing the game: Hotel Dusk: Room 215

Aimlessly wandering: This is a multi pronged issue. First off, there is no log in the game that reminds you of what you need to do next. I started the game when it came out, sat it down and picked it up a few months ago and was confused as to what to do, so I just started over.

But even when I was playing the game on a daily basis, I often felt left not knowing exactly who to talk to or go see. I’d go up to doors knocking and would keep being told that no one was around, even if I had just seen them say they were going back to their room or if they asked me to come get them when I decided to go somewhere.

There is so much random shit lying around and extra rooms that aren’t the slightest bit useful except for the one time in the game that they actually are that it can all get really confusing as to what is the right thing to do at the time. Adventure games across the scope of gaming have these issues, but for fucks sake, this game was released in 2007.

Extreme specificity without rhyme or reason: Early on in the game I encountered one puzzle that revolved around the need to break into my suitcase because the damn key snapped as I was opening it to retrieve some money to pay for my hotel room. I ventured out of my room and found a crowbar, a screw driver and some wire cutters in a tool box that was hidden in a locker in a linen room. I took all three back to my room to try to break open that suitcase.

At first I tried using the screwdriver on the suitcase… couldn’t do it. I thought, “Ok, maybe, just maybe the suitcase is shut in a way that a screwdriver can’t jimmy it open”. I then proceeded to use the crowbar, which could surely break open a suitcases lock… but no dice. The solution to the problem was to take the wire cutters and use them on a hanger that is hanging on the wall and with two VERY specific parts selected, cut a straight piece of wire to create a lock pick.

After opening the suitcase, you can only use the lock pick one other time in the game before having to chuck it in the trash. In a building full of locked doors, I would have hoped for a more useful lock pick that could allow me to break into anyones room at any time, in a very Morrowind-esque manner, especially when I keep getting a message that doors are locked.