Hotel Giant managed to pass this reviewer by the first time round, and given how tricky some of the on-screen, supposedly-helpful text is to read in this sequel, said reviewer’s eyeballs scream with thanks. Why it all needs to be so hard to read is a bit of a mystery – and we suspect our widescreen monitor didn’t help – but in the spirit of finding out more, and doing our bit for Specsavers, we ventured on.
Hotel Giant 2 is akin to the avalanche of tycoon-a-like games that exist on the PC, with the aim of this one being to build, run and show off a hotel. Naturally, you start with a motel in the middle of nowhere, with the aim being to tackle big, lavish establishments as you get more experienced and make your way through the game.
The tutorial seems to prioritise the taking of photos in the first instance over working out how to place and design a decent room, and it soon becomes clear why. Simply, the tutorial does a dry and drab job of trying to get you involved in the game.
Considering you have an exhaustive collection of tools, that let you micromanage things right down to how the pictures are hung, this really does the game a disservice. That said, the inclusion of a cheat card system should give you a fairly weighty clue that Hotel Giant 2 is the kind of game where you need all the help you can get.
The aforementioned cheat cards allow you to quickly satiate your customers, and unless you’re a Hilton with some talent you’ll quickly come to rely on them. For Hotel Giant 2 is quite brutally hard and often not very forgiving at all. To turn a profit out of your establishment – which admittedly can look quite lavish if you’re willing to invest the time – is not an easy job.
Sadly, it’s not much fun either. Even overlooking the fiddly laying of everything in place, the game is happy to put you through all of these motions with a minimum of feedback and get you to create your hotel in quite a cold way.
It’s hard to explain, but when you think back to the charm, energy and fun of Maxis’ Sim Tower over a decade a go, you can’t help but question how much progress Hotel Giant 2 actually represents. Not much, would be our contention.
For while this is a strategy game that looks good and has an interface that is kinder than you may initially give it credit for, it fails really as a piece of entertainment. And that’s quite a damning criticism for a tycoon-esque game that never really makes you want to become a hotel magnate at any point.