Sunday, May 9, 2010

Playfish New Game - Hotel City

Playfish has launched a new social game centering around hotel management during mid-March - Hotel City. Not sureif this will be a big hit, but so far the various reviews seem positive, other than the occasional complains about software bugs. The graphics are typical Playfish graphics (which are nice of course) and I personally like the background music.

The game has a great tutorial. First the player starts off with about 50800 coins to buy various rooms and items. The hotel could be expanded (later as a leveling reward) and more rooms of various nature added.

The gameplay is intuitive and players could get more coins once a day by visiting other players. Coins could also be earned by clikcing on sleeping hotel guests. A bit weird, but that provides some in-game activity.

Playfish has also recently introduced a 'reviewer' feature. Randomly there will be some hotel guests who are actually hotel reviewers in the Hotel City. If the player clicks on them, the player has the additional option to share review stars with friends (and of course keep one for themselves). These stars are very good decorative items that help to boost the ratings for the rooms.

Players could also sign-on as helpers in other players' hotels and that would yield more coins (as tips) per day.

Of course, once the player levels, more coins and game options will be made available. Getting thru to level 8 is easy and could be done within 1-2 days. Beyond these initial levels, the player has to carefully managed a combination of guest rooms and recreational rooms.

There are many recreational rooms (which are made available at different levels), including gym, cafe, bar, cinema, and even a swimming pool. Each recreational room can allow for more guests and the staying time in each room is different. So it takes come maths to calculate which rooms can yields more coins and points.

Hotel City attracts more game play by offering coins, but it also penalises lack of game play by introducing roaches into the hotel when the hotel is not operational for some time. In order to keep the hotel operational, the player could click on different shift timing for the hotel staff. In general, the longer hours mean more coins paid per hour, and the temp staff cost more than 'friends' hired for the Hotel City.

Hotel City hotels are rated by stars, and these stars improved based on a few factors. Stars are gained when the players properly decorate each guest room, and also introduced other commercial rooms (e.g. gyms, cafe, cinema) for the hotel guests. The guests would occasionally indicate what features they want for the hotel Nonetheless, Hotel City also prompt the players by a message that appears beside the stars rating.

Overall the Hotel City is a nice game to play. Since the game is still in beta version there are bound to be bugs. One particularly irritating bug is that when a player clicks on other rewards before receiving his full hotel points (and coins) for the day, the rewards will supercede the hotel points gained, i.e. the player loses his hotel points for the day.

Hopefully Playfish can sort out some of these bugs soon, and perhaps introduce more new features, say more variety of music for the hotels?

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