Hotel Hustle – Review
Follow Genre: Party, Arcade, Action
Developer: RedDeer.Games
Publisher: RedDeer.Games
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Hotel Hustle – Review

Site Score
Good: The style is accessible and looks fun
Bad: A lot of weird design choices keep the gameplay back
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Of course, we welcome any developer who tries to “recreate” a great and successful game. Who wouldn’t want to play another game that has the same quality as Halo, or the intensity of God of War? However, the downside we often see with such endeavors is that a developer recreating something only gets part of the original formula right. They try to be original, which is great, but they do not know how to ask themselves fundamental design questions that make something a fun and memorable experience for the player. The same happened with Hotel Hustle, a game spawned in a line of other party games similar to Overcooked.


The player and possibly a buddy take control of one or two raccoon employees at a hotel. In this hotel the floors represent levels, and it’s your task to prepare rooms, admit guests to said rooms, service them when needed, and clean up after them. This scenario is pretty self-explanatory, and while some cutscenes are in the game, they are mostly used to make light of a situation or quickly introduce something new. Even though many of these party games miss engaging storylines, we did miss something to work towards in Hotel Hustle.


The visuals are the best thing the game has going for it. Right off the bat, the game looks right, blending in perfectly with Saturday morning cartoons from the 2010s. The character designs for one overly happy raccoon and one grumpy bellhop-looking raccoon speak volumes to those working in the service industry. The environment of “hotel rooms” seems a bit random with the locations of rooms on a floor but makes sense with the gameplay in mind. The 2D and 3D blend of graphics where characters and information bubbles are 2D and objects are 3D also works quite well and it makes the game feel a bit like a mobile game, in a good way. Just looking at the game for the first time will probably get people interested enough to look up more information about it or even buy it.


As far as music is concerned, Hotel Hustle is doing fine with a variety of whimsical and chaotic music, representing what you see in the game and reminiscent of the games that came before it such as Overcooked. Every five levels or so, the background track changes with the new color scheme you find, giving you just enough variation to keep the music fresh. Sound effects are there when needed for completing tasks, dumping trash in a chute, etc. They too reminded us of mobile games, with simple chimes on doing something correctly. The game could use a few more sounds perhaps to recreate the hustling and bustling of an actual hotel, but other than that it works fine for what it is.


Playing the game itself is what rubbed us the wrong way. While all the other aspects work fine for a chaotic party game with arcade, action, and mobile elements, the gameplay just isn’t fleshed out enough to satisfy. First of all, there is a huge difference between playing alone or with a friend. We would say the game works better playing it with a friend, and even say that the solo mode seems almost obsolete. The tasks at hand are just clearly designed for more than one person, but even with two, they are generally also not designed well.

Each level generally starts with about four hotel rooms under your raccoon’s paws. These four rooms need to be cleaned by completing a set amount of tasks. Tasks involve stuff such as cleaning the toilet and the bath, closing a closet, watering a plant, and more. For most of the tasks, you will need to run back and forth to a trolley that contains tools to help you. This might be a bucket, a cleaning spray, new bedding, etc. A few tasks can simply be done without a tool, and a few need an extra step where you deposit trash or used bedding in a chute. Once a room is clean, you can walk to the desk to allow a single guest inside. We had a few problems with all of this. First of all, this gameplay setup practically does not change during different levels, creating quite a monotonous experience. Then there are some other points.

The game restricts you a lot as you can’t dump any item in your hands unless you are back at your trolley or at the appropriate chute. The trolley also can’t be moved which makes no sense, and it is choices like these that bring the game down tremendously. Then there is also the design choice of adding timers to all the rooms from the start. While timers would make a lot of sense as they do in similar games, in Hotel Hustle, the only effect a timer has is that you progress quicker towards your star goal (3 stars are obtainable per level) the faster you have a room ready. If a room does not get cleaned all game, it will just sit there without effect. All the timers also go down way too fast, often making you focus more on one or two rooms, especially in single-player mode. This destroys the point of trying to be fast in the first place as perfection is not achievable. On top of that, the controls sometimes feel a bit clunky. The character controls feel a bit laggy at times and hitboxes don’t work very well, especially when multiple interactables overlap. It feels like the designers didn’t actually play their own game.


While Hotel Hustle is quite accessible and perhaps even a tiny bit of fun, we mostly couldn’t get behind certain design choices that limited the gameplay a lot. Some core mechanics are screaming to be altered, and other mechanics or environments just do not get the variety they deserve. The most joy we got out of the game was that it looked good and worked well together with the sound.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Hotel Hustle - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

I'm a game designer, developer, and reviewer. I've been reviewing for since 2017.

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