Hotel Dash in Review – Flo’s On The Go – Again!

The “Dash” series of time management games has always been a big hit on the PC, and it’s made an excellent transition to the iPhone world.  Hotel Dash is the latest entry in the series, and it’s upped the ante in several ways.  If you’re a time management veteran you’ll feel right at home and appreciate the additional challenge, but if you’re new to the whole concept this might not be the best place to start.  So far I’m loving it, and I can’t wait to see what the next installment in the franchise has to offer.

You play as Flo, who appears to be a very busy woman, since in addition to her job managing a variety of restaurants around the city she is now running three different hotels.  Your job is to help her get each of these hotels back into tip top shape for various reasons, whether it’s to impress a honeymooning couple or appease some bigwigs.  You’ll have 10 rounds to work on each hotel.  To improve the hotel you must make money, and to make money you must keep the guests happy.  Make sure they get to their room expediently, get everything they need, and check out in a timely fashion.  This will assure big tips and your continued advancement through the game.

In addition to getting your patrons and their luggage into a room, you’ll need to provide them with various amenities like dinner, towels, and extra pillows.  Just wait until you get those hungry men that need more than one meal!  Then there are the clowns that like to make messes wherever they go.  It becomes a real test of skills keeping everything flowing smoothly, especially when you consider that both you and all the guests are using the same elevator to get everywhere.  It seems like there are a whole lot more activities to do in Hotel Dash than in earlier Dash games, which is good for the challenge level but can prove intimidating if you’ve never played a time management game before.

The other new feature is the concept of fixing up a special room.  Each normal room can have between 1 and 3 stars – which must be bought – and rooms with stars will earn you “star bills” (they should have called them “star bucks”).  At the end of each level you can spend these star bills purchasing items for the master suite of the hotel.  I don’t think it ever came outright and said it, but I believe you have to purchase everything in the master room in order to complete the hotel.  If that’s the case, it will be a fine balancing act between purchasing stars for rooms and upgrades for the hotel to make your life easier.  Of course, rooms with stars earn more tips as well.

Graphically the game is on par with other Dash games, which means the visuals are colorful, detailed and fun.  There are nice little extras like the customers leaping up and down when you check them out of a room or a vase teetering before falling when a clown knocks it over.  And, like the other games, the cut scenes are rendered in a comic book style.

The sound effects are decent, but nothing really sticks out.  In fact, I think there were some missed opportunities in that the characters themselves didn’t have any distinct noises.  The music is standard “Dash” fare, and honestly when the action gets hectic it doesn’t matter much because you won’t be paying attention to the sounds.

From a challenge standpoint I’d say that Hotel Dash is the toughest in the franchise so far, which is a good thing.  I had a few issues with sluggish behavior and action buttons not responding as well as they should, but that could be a consequence of my older device (iPod Touch 2G).  Those issues aside, I still had a blast playing Hotel Dash, and I certainly recommend it to anyone with an interest in time management games.

As well, if you missed our interview with PlayFirst’s GM Chris Williams, you can read it here.

App Summary
Title: Hotel DashDeveloper: PlayFirst, Inc.
Reviewed Ver:1.0Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$2.99App Size:60.52MB
  • Challenging game play
  • Nice twist with the “special room”
  • Good graphics
  • Occasional slowdown
  • Unresponsive controls from time to time
  • Audio a bit bland

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