Hotel Transylvania Dash Deluxe
Even the world's most terrifying monsters deserve a vacation. That's the premise behind the upcoming animated film, Hotel Transylvania, a light-hearted comedy that finds Dracula running a five-star (more like five-stake) resort for mummies, werewolves and Frankenstein, among other creatures. Developer PlayFirst, of Diner Dash fame, used this premise as the foundation for its Hotel Dash spin-off, Hotel Transylvania Dash, a hotel management game for iPhone and iPad that tasks players with booking rooms and tending to guests' needs in a frantic race for tips and customer satisfaction. Although it does little we haven't seen before, the charming presentation and addictive gameplay make it an instant favorite.
If you played Hotel Dash, or another game like it, then Hotel Transylvania Dash will seem familiar. As guests arrive, the goal is to put them into rooms depending on the number of occupants and complete a series of errands to make them happy. This involves using elevators to deliver luggage, room service and burning laundry, but it goes a little deeper than that. Some monsters, for example, make special requests, like the Swamp Monsters' constant need for fresh towels, or Mrs. Blob eating more than normal. You must tend to their every whim and be quick about it, as the longer you take, the higher risk of them growing angry and leaving, which negatively impacts your score and money earned.
That said, the game is delightfully frantic in the later stages, where you can't go more than a few seconds without a monster asking for something. Thankfully, the touch screen controls couldn't be simpler. You just tap the desired item (towels, room service, the mop, suitcases) and then press the correct room. Dracula takes it from there, and you can boost his abilities by making key upgrades, one of which lets him carry multiple things at once; on a side note, improving decor increases the amount of money you'll make. On top of that, you'll contend with Jonathan, the only human in the game who inadvertently scares guests. Suffice to say, there's a lot to absorb in a little amount of time.
Meanwhile, Hotel Transylvania retains the art style from other PlayFirst games, with cartoon-style characters and a visually appealing background, complimented by a Halloween type of music. The presentation is basic compared to other titles on iOS, but gets the job done.
The only thing that may potentially derail this game is the fact that it fails to introduce anything new to the genre per se. Outside of the movie tie-in, it's essentially Hotel Dash with a different skin. Of course, if you're excited for the film and/or thoroughly enjoy time-management games, Hotel Transylvania Dash makes for a smart download, whether you go with the free trial or $2.99 Deluxe version.
Review code provided by PlayFirst.
What's Hot: Enjoyable time-management gameplay, great presentation that ties into the Hotel Transylvania film, user-friendly touch controls make running the hotel as easy as possible.
What's Not: Does little we haven't experienced before.