Best iPad Games: Bad Hotel

CVG hand-picks the greatest iOS games available to download right now

Apple has revolutionised how we consume and play portable games with iPhone and iPad. In this new regular series, CVG discovers and celebrates the most innovative new iPad games on the App Store. Click through the link to find our full list of the best iPad games.


The Best iPad Games: Bad Hotel

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In hackneyed games media parlance you might describe Bad Hotel as a "tower defence" game, but that description does it no favours.

As your defences build in Bad Hotel, so does the game's abstract sounds and elegant visuals which are at the core of the experience.

It's really hard, and yet because every defeat is down to how you placed your flawed fortifications, every failure compels the player onwards. One more go. There's little explanation of what your defences actually do - as new units are introduced, you are left to discover their strengths and weaknesses for yourself.

My time with Bad Hotel began on iPhone, but continued on iPad, the larger screen allowing for more precise unit placement. And, more frivolously, the iPad allows its look (art deco in fluorescent pastels) to really sing. It's handsome to the point of self-consciousness; Playing Bad Hotel on the larger, more public iPad feels like something a hipster type might do on the train home.

Concept artwork

Stuck on a Villainsville stage entitled 'Night Time is the Wrong Time', I spent an hour tweaking and toiling with old defence strategies when I should have moved on sooner.

Every stage provides different tools to play with and varying attack patterns to defend against. Your foes threaten from the sky and from the ground, while boss battles, both airborne and earthbound, require further experimentation. Building a robust structure is rewarded with not only progress but a more pleasing, coherent soundtrack of chimes and pulses, which pour outwards from your base.

I finished the game on iPad on Wednesday night, but I am continuing to play it on iPhone, such is its draw. Developer Lucky Frame's revitalising treatment of tower defence might not be such a surprise once you look into the studio's origins. It sits outside the games industry and concentrates on creating what it terms "new ways to encourage creativity through technology".

Concept artwork

In 2008, eccentric studio director Yann Seznec appeared on Dragon's Den to pitch a procedurally-generated music toy built on the Wii tech. He did so with no consideration for the numbers and solid business plan required of every contestant. Duncan Bannatyne and co were out. Little did they know that, less than four years later, the rest of us would be all in.

Bad Hotel is priced at £1.49 in the UK and $1.99 in the US. Download it here.