In his attempts to solve the enigma buried within the story of Hotel Dusk: Room 215
, Wired's Clive Thompson gets caught up
in another mystery entirely. Is Hotel Dusk
a game or a novel? While the general consensus is that the DS adventure is somewhat of a novel game
(see what we did there?), the copious amounts of text, glacial pacing and rigorous story lead Thompson to believe that the distinction between Hotel Dusk
and an "average airport novel" is less than clear.
Interestingly, he suggests that interactive elements like branching dialogue are the prime culprits in not only seperating the game from a novel, but preventing it from telling a story on par with the best of books. The piece concludes that games like Hotel Dusk
and Phoenix Wright
represent compromises between the interactive nature of games and the unresponsive presentation of books -- terms like "novel" and "interactive" don't quite capture the experience the games try to convey.
It's a good read, but we'd be remiss not to append our own conclusion: Hotel Dusk
is a choose-your-own-adventure novel!