Bad Hotel is bizarre. Not the sort of bizarre that makes you marvel at the creator’s creativity and originality, the bizarre that leaves you scratching your head as to what you are playing, why you are playing it, and how it came to exist in the first place. A tower defense game hidden underneath a music experiment, Bad Hotel is an aptly named oddity which seems to want to do nothing but be different no matter how detrimental it is to the experience.
Taking on the role as the owner of a new hotel, you are besieged by your greedy competitor whose sole goal is to destroy your building piece by piece, sending waves of rampaging animal suicide bombers (parallels could be drawn to terrorist attacks, but I highly doubt the developers were aiming for anything that heavy). To counteract the attack you must place rooms (which give you cash) and turrets (which destroy oncoming enemies), which connect to your hotel like a patchwork quilt and add a new sound bite to the “soundtrack”. Despite sounding novel on paper this is where everything starts to unravel.
Levels are terribly unbalanced, with certain ones requiring near perfection to complete and others offering no difficulty whatsoever. Completing a level successfully never felt like anything but luck to me, and by altering your arsenal each level the developers remove the free-form strategy of traditional TD games and all but force you to follow their plan for how you place each room. This subliminal linearity makes it aggravating to continually fail a level and unsatisfying when you eventually, a combination that sapped any motivation I might have had to continue playing.
The music created by the various sounds of each tower is anything but melodic, more akin to a skipping CD or a telephone booth with various beeps and buzzes all combining into an awful mess of sounds and clashing time signatures. I would consider myself open-minded when it comes to music but Bad Hotel did nothing but give me a terrible headache and reaching for the mute button. Visually it is just as disorganized and ugly even for previously being a mobile game, and the art and interface have had little if any work done to them for the PC version (a trend that seems to be happening more and more often).
I absolutely love tower defense, music, and experimental games more so than I can say, but Bad Hotel did nothing to keep me interested and everything to drive me away, despite how much I should have liked it. There is a decent amount of content here for the price, but I doubt many will bother to see most of it as it isn’t enjoyable to play. There is something to be said for trying to do something unique, but this is a perfect example of how badly that goal can backfire. I cannot recommend playing or purchasing Bad Hotel in any way, and can only hope it doesn’t take too long to wash the awful taste it left me with.