Hotel, motels, and the like: we've all stayed in them at one time or another in order to rest our weary heads after a long journey or hard day of vacationing. Most of us have at least partially experienced or glimpsed both sides of the Hotel coin, from the lowly Motel 6 plotted alongside the interstate, to the grandiose and super luxury Hotel Casino's that line up parts of the strip in the sin city itself of Las Vegas. But have you ever wanted to really see what it's like to actually run you very own 4 star hotel? Perhaps you just want to find out what kind of people really check in to those nameless 'rooms rented by the hour' locations? PC game players can now find out all this and more for themselves with the latest release from JoWood games, Maximum Capacity: Hotel Giant. Building the hotel of your dreams (or nightmares) was never so easy, but running it efficiently might be slightly more difficult that you first bargained for.
Popularity in overall PC gaming has been growing exponentially for the last several years. Publishers looking to expand the market have delved into new areas of gaming, looking to capture the attention of potential players across the spectrum in different areas. Just looking at the extreme popularity of a game like The Sims should be proof enough that not every great selling game has to have massive battles, oversized guns, or mystical warriors in order to appeal to the masses. Keeping that in mind, game continue to look into other unexplored avenues of gaming for that one unique gaming experience in order to compete in the growing world of video gaming. European game publishers JoWood Productions might have found that little comfy gaming niche with their latest release, Maximum Capacity: Hotel Giant for the PC platform. At first, we thought this title was just going to be another lame duck The Sims rip-off, but in the end, we at The Laser must admit that Hotel Giant proved us to be very wrong.
As a game, Maximum Capacity: Hotel Giant combines elements of two different genre's of gaming (including simulators and the classic builder design), allowing players to create and manage their very own hotel or motel (both single units and chains). Nineteen different types of buildings are available to choose from, ranging from the cheaper highway motel chain styled lodgings, to high rolling Las Vegas-like Casino Hotels, to the posh beach front resorts found in such places as Hawaii and the Bahamas (23 separate cities found around the world are available to build in during the game). Players have the ability to design the layout and features of their specific hotel, including guestrooms, bars, restaurants, health clubs, libraries, business centers, pools, and casino floors. Every minor detail of each and every room can also be accessed and manipulated to the players taste, including décor, amenities, floor styles, paint colors, etc. To add another dimension to the game, Hotel Giant borrows an interesting feature from The Sims and allows you to view the patrons of your hotel as they move along through their daily routine, whether it be showering, watching TV, playing blackjack, or sleeping.
Two different styles of gameplay are available to choose from in Hotel Giant, including the Campaign and the Random game versions. The campaigns consists of three different games within that category, including a Tutorial based learning campaign (which starts you off with one small hotel to manage), a random campaign setup that gives players various arenas of hotel situations to delve into, and the full fledged including the Campaign and the Random game versions. The main campaign level of the game consists of 5 specific hotels and locations, each with its own unique set of goals need to be completed in order to finish the level. These include an Investor challenge scenario (profit based), a Best Resort scenario, a Rave Review scenario, and the perfect Motel Chain scenario. Each game has its own set of unique situations, goals, and gameplay to diversify the campaign completely.
Honestly, we never thought that playing a Hotel builder game could be so engrossing. But then again, we thought the same thing about playing a game based around controlling the lives of a simulated family. From the initial tutorial game, we found ourselves quite addicted to Hotel Giant brand of gameplay, which of course was something that we really didn't expect to happen. Designing and building the hotels turned out to be a rather easy thing to do after running through the very extensive (and sometimes exhaustive) tutorial walkthroughs. As a matter of fact, the hardest decisions to be found in the design process for hotel floor plans and rooms was what to put in them. Over a hundred different objects can be placed within rooms ranging from various windows, electronics, beds, gift baskets, wall décor (painting, etc.), plants, cabinets, chairs, couches, and the list goes on and on. Players can also choose to redo wall covering, change carpets, repaint areas, and even add lighting to otherwise dark places. After you've finally completed your designs for the hotel, you can even take still pictures of the rooms and save them for future use, if you're in to that kind of thing.
Though building the hotel is a rather simple process, managing it effectively is a whole different ball game. In order to progress in the game (as well as complete it) players must micromanage the hotel and complete specific goals to the particular scenario that is associated with the hotel. For example, the learning/tutorial campaign's goal list consists of bringing higher revenue per month, increasing the amount of patrons per month, and raising the average satisfaction of the patrons that do stay at the hotel. In order to do this, players must create several new and improved guest rooms out of older rooms, as well as renovate the older rooms that are left afterwards. After that the building process is complete, players must then carefully watch the patrons that enter the establishment and take note of their general impression of the facilities, their needs, and their complaints. As players chart the actions of the hotels' patrons, they can also take in the sights and sounds through the viewpoint of the guest, watching as they partake in their daily actions. Though quite as intrinsic as The Sims character control actions, its still an extremely interesting activity to delve into, adding even more dimension to the overall gameplay.
All in all, Maximum Capacity: Hotel Giant was an
interesting game to play, if not the most original title to come across our
desks this year. Building up the various styles of hotels in their worldwide
locations was a entertaining aspect of the game, and being able to see the
myriad of activity that takes place in a hotel environment truly opened our eyes
to what really goes on at a hotel in real life. The management and economic
aspect of the game was slightly more difficult to master and not for the gamer
that gets bored easily. It might actually take a few times as the master of a
hotel for a player to figure out the ins and outs of the multiple tasks and
complications that can arise in your average hotel/motel scenario. With that in
mind, this game might not appeal to the average gamer looking for something fast
and furious to tackle on their home PC system. If you're into a true eco-builder
title and have the patience to learn how to run your dream hotel, then by all
means, Maximum Capacity: Hotel Giant is the game for you.
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