We all know about the ups and downs of games made to promote movies. Sometimes the game is terrible, sometimes it has nothing to do with the movie, and often, no matter how the game is, you feel a little dirty afterwards from all that marketing. We’re happy to report that Hotel Transylvania Dash hits all the right notes, and we don’t feel dirty saying so–even with all the swamp monsters.
Hotel Transylvania is an upcoming animated movie about a hotel for all the monsters in the storybooks, run by Dracula himself. Hotel Transylvania Dash is a hotel-management game, which makes it very closely tied to the movie’s premise. As you may guess from ‘˜dash’ being in the title, the game is made by PlayFirst, the makers of the popular casual game Diner Dash (and its multiple spinoffs), and this one is no less polished.
Of course, Hotel Transylvania serves a different type of clientele than your average diner, and that’s where this game’s great character came out. You have to remember that the Swamp Monsters always ask for towels for their nightly swim, that Mrs. Blob has a ravenous appetite, and that while Frankenstein has a sleepwalking habit, Bigfoot and his entourage can be disruptive if they don’t get their way.
We had a lot of fun juggling the variety of monsters and their quirks across the hotel’s three wings. As in the movie, a human eventually arrives–his quirky behavior being that he likes exploring your monstrous customers’ rooms–and while it doesn’t make plot sense that there would be more than one of him, he adds to the game’s variety.
Unsurprisingly, Hotel Transylvania Dash has a lot of familiar elements for Dash-veterans: hearts indicating patience levels, sizes of parties affecting where you can place them, upgrades for making your task easier, and bonuses for chains of an activity. This all relies on the ability to queue several actions so that Dracula doesn’t stop moving, and that mechanic works quite well. Our only complaints are that some of the objects are too close together (stupid big thumbs), and that there is no way to cancel a queued action.
“Hold your horses! I only have three hands!”
The goal of the ten levels in each wing was to gather enough “blood dollars” to furnish the VIP suite in a theme befitting the lucky tenants. You have to balance this quest with purchasing upgrades to make your job easier, but even so, we found that upgrades, furnishings, and the “expert” ranking are too easy to achieve–and speaking of achieving things, we’re disappointed by the lack of achievements.
Any fan of time-management games–and certainly any fan of the ‘Dash’ franchise–will enjoy trying to juggle the eccentricities of Hotel Transylvania. Just don’t grab the room next to the Yeti if you want to get any sleep.