iPhone Game Review: Jane's Hotel Reviewed by JadeDragon
From the creator of Supermarket Mania for the iPhone and iPod touch comes another time management game, Jane's Hotel. If you have played the PC version then you already know the game. If you haven't, it's not hard to guess: it's a time management title centered on running a hotel. Jane has always dreamed to build a 5 star hotel, and in this game you will help her do just that.
Like most time management games, you start small and work your way up. In Jane's Hotel you start in a small 2 star joint and work your way through 40 levels to reach the grand 5 star hotel of your dream. The game has an intuitive interface that?s easy to control on the touch screen. Two people work at Jane?s hotel: Jane and the maid. The game does a good job at separating the controls for the two employees and the type of jobs they handle as well as the workload. It?s a clever design that lets you do all the choirs of running a hotel yet not put everything on one person. For example, Jane is in charge of checking guests in, arranging for their drinks, meals, newspaper and entertainment; while the maid cleans the rooms, changes the sheets, waters the plants, runs the dry cleaning and even brings out golf rentals. Jane and the maid have about equal amount of workload, this makes the game both interesting and challenging as you will need to not only get your customers what they are asking for but also direct the right person to perform the tasks. With the right controls, as you have in this game, this design gives the gameplay a very dynamic feel compared to other time management games built on a single character.
Jane?s Hotel has balanced goals for you to achieve each level, and it never gets too impossible to reach like the last levels in Dinner Dash. Each level in Jane?s Hotel adds new ways to score higher as you advance: coffee, bar, golf, piano player, etc., and you can add these by purchasing the options before starting the levels. Though there are no speed changes to the characters, if you tap everything in a timely fashion, all will get done before the customers get impatient and give up on the requests. This means you can queue up actions and not have to worry about them. Jane and the maid will get them done. The hotels will get bigger and fancier as you gain levels. This means more rooms and more customers to take care of, and higher scores to achieve. There is a time limit; and once the hotel is closed, no more customers will show up. There should be plenty to do to earn enough scores for each level, and if you don?t lose any customers and perform most tasks before the customers give up, you will do just fine. If you lose in a level, you can restart it again. One design in the game is puzzling: as you advance in the levels (from the 2 star hotel, to the 3 start hotel and the 4 star hotel) you can go back to previously level without giving up the current level progress even after you?ve reached the 5 star hotel. This means you can?t just select certain level you?ve completed and hone your skills on that level; you must march on or lose your current position.
Jane?s Hotel has the topical colorful graphics found in many time management games. The game has a good number of character graphics corresponding to the hotel surroundings: the customers look more casual in the 2 star hotel while the clientele has more blings on them. The hotels have a different look as well depending on how many stars they carry. Both the employees and the customers move smoothly and the touch screens are responsive.
Jane?s Hotel has both background music and sound FX. Background music is nice and smooth big band kind of music that makes you feel like you are in a lounge or a hotel lobby. Sound FX is quite simple and there are also some simple voice-overs.
Jane?s Hotel is another solid time management title. The game isn?t very long but it?s certainly addictive. The gameplay feels balanced and the two character set-up is fun and dynamic. The later levels can get hectic, but if you keep a cool head and fast fingers you will reach the 5 star hotel. The game is current priced at $2.99, so get it before the price goes up.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - Standard time management style graphics with a good variety of characters and items. Sound: - 4 - Smooth lounge music with simple FX and voice. Controls: - 4.5 - Responsive controls, and the two-people controls work well. Gameplay: - 4 - Not a very long game, but has meaty and addictive gameplay.
Playing Hints and Tips:
-You can't go backward in levels without losing the current position. So be careful where you poke on the level screen.
-It can get hectic in the later levels, like after level 4-5. But you can queue up things for Jane and the maid. As long as you can queue them up fast, the tasks will get done.
-If two or more customers ask for the same thing, you can take care of them all in one run. Just have to be quick on tapping on their doors.