Hotel Mario is a puzzle game developed by Fantasy Factory and published by Philips Interactive Media for the Philips CD-i in 1994. The primary character of the game is Mario, who must find Princess Peach by going through seven Koopa Hotels in the Mushroom Kingdom.
Every hotel is divided into multiple stages, and the objective is to open all doors on each stage. Defeating a Koopaling on the hotel's final stage takes the player to the following building.
Controlling Mario, or his brother Luigi in two-player mode, the player has to complete all stages of the seven hotels in the game. The first six hotels contain 10 stages, and the last contains 15 stages. Progressing from one stage to the next requires the player to shut every door without exceeding a time limit. The purpose of closing the doors to progress is not explained. Elevators, which operate differently depending on the hotel, enable the player to go between the five floors of the stage. The faster a stage is cleared, the more points will be given to the player. Every stage has its own title screen via which the game can be saved. The screens are also used to enter previously played hotel stages and the map of the Mushroom Kingdom, which allows the player to access any visited hotel.
The game takes place in the Mushroom Kingdom, which Bowser has turned into a hotel resort for the use of himself and the Koopalings, renaming the land the "Club Koopa Resort". Each hotel in the area is guarded by one of the Koopalings and their henchmen. The hotels represent different building types with various locations, including a tree, a mine, and a cloud.
Having been invited for a picnic by Princess Peach, Mario and Luigi enter the Mushroom Kingdom. At the entrance, however, they find a message from Bowser. He reveals that he has taken control over the kingdom and established seven hotels there, at one of which Princess Peach is being held as a "permanent guest". As they visit the first six hotels, Mario and Luigi find the Princess several times, but on every occasion she disappears out of their sight, ending up in another hotel. They eventually enter a palace where Bowser himself resides. With the hotel's owner defeated, the brothers flee the building with Princess Peach before it collapses. The Princess, now able to rule her kingdom in peace, thanks to the Mario brothers, giving them both a kiss.
Why It Sucks
- Odd dialogue. One example is the infamous scene where Mario goes into a room filled with toasters and says: "You know what they say, all toasters toast toast!" First of all, who even says that? And second of all, they toast bread, not toast.
- Bad and stupid gameplay, similar to that of Elevator Action. The only goal in each level is to run around and close doors.
- Awful and cheesy writing that doesn't stay to the true source.
- You can get hit by enemies in the platform above you when trying to jump over enemies.
- Enemies respawn without warning, killing you if you don't watch out. They also reopen doors when they do respawn, making the levels drag on quite a bit, and if all the doors open, you lose.
- Poor controls, which can lead to cheap deaths.
- The only way to avoid enemies you can't jump on is by hiding in the elevators.
- Some of the bosses are a pain to beat, with Ludwig being the most annoying boss in the game due to his hard-to-dodge lighting beam ability.
- Mario is given a deep voice with a gruff Brooklyn accent, which makes him sound more like a generic guy than a plumber.
- It has a French dub on cutscenes, but it's done very poorly. For example, Bowser is called "Boswor" in the French dub.
- The cutscenes are hilariously bad. They are not very fun to watch and have many problems:
- Often have too long pauses (three to five seconds) between clips, like when Princess Peach thanks Mario and Luigi for saving her and then the one where she thanks the player for helping. This is also true for when she just gives a creepy and long look at the screen until it finally transitions.
- The audio quality is extremely low. It can get extremely loud for people's ears, especially during the line where Mario says "Hey you, get off of my cloud!".
- Most of the time, has surprisingly good framerate and non-glitchy gameplay for CD-i standards.
- Decent level design.
- Catchy soundtrack, especially in the cutscenes.
- Great in-game graphics, along with the well-drawn sprites.
- Luigi's voice is actually surprisingly similar to how Charles Martinet would voice him starting with the international release of Mario Kart 64.
- It spawned several internet memes and YTPs, and also the famous quote "I hope she made lotsa spaghetti!" and "No!".
- The warp sound here and from Super Mario 64 originated from Sound Ideas' The General Series 6000 sound effects library.
Hotel Mario received mixed reviews. GamePro gave it a 2.5/5 stars rating, while Video Games: The Ultimate Gaming Magazine gave it a 7/10 rating. On Google, Hotel Mario received 61% likes.
Cancelled CD-i Mario Game
In the early development stages of the CD-i, Philips and Nintendo were originally going to create a sequel to Super Mario World called Super Mario's Wacky Worlds, which was supposed to be developed by NovaLogic. It was cancelled due to declining sales of the CD-i and even though it wasn't released, with this being made instead (watch James Rolfe and Mike Matei play the unfinished demo here).