Last month, I was able to get a look at the latest sim on the block. That was Hotel Renovator by Two Horizons. So it’s available now on Steam, and coming this year to Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5. The premise of the game is that “you inherit an old, neglected hotel in terrible condition. Others have given up hope, but you sense the extraordinary potential erupting out of this place. Before you unveil this hotel’s beauty, you need to get your hands dirty. Grab your tools to tear down that old wallpaper, rip up the panel flooring, and bust through walls to get out with the old and in with the new”.
Hotel Renovator has a sandbox mode as well as a short story mode. So the idea behind that is you’ve inherited a hotel that’s been in your family’s name. However, the issue is it really is run down. Therefore you slowly have to start renovating the hotel floor by floor and room by room. Along the way, you meet some colorful characters with some unusual requests. There’s even a rogue chicken causing chaos and a ghost or two. Throughout all this, you’ll slowly discover the history of your family and the connections with the hotel. It adds a personal touch to a campaign mode and least gives you some incentive to want to progress further. Especially if this is a genre you’re very much on the fence with.
Hotel Renovator’s Gameplay
First of all the game was enjoyable even though I could be redesigning a room and the game would just suddenly freeze. If I tried to repeat the steps I took prior to that happening, I couldn’t. As a result, it was most likely not caused by events on the screen. Fortunately, these were extremely rare occurrences. The user interface and the ability to switch from the furniture are simple to use. Though some client requests specify specific items, such as a desk, they fall into the same category as a hay bale or a dog bed. Perhaps more categories could be added to make searching easier. All of these requests are also timed. When attempting to throw dynamite, the dynamite tool does not always work. It would occasionally tell me that I needed to clean the room, but I couldn’t see what I needed to clean. However, returning to the main menu and reloading the game fixed the problem. However, I shouldn’t have to return to a menu in order for the game to progress properly.
Overall, the game is visually stunning. It does approach photo realism in some areas. Overall, the lighting is excellent, and reflective surfaces provide some, albeit limited, screen-based reflections. How simple would it be to implement ray tracing in a room where no two rooms are likely to be the same? However, the game works perfectly without them.
We have a dynamite tool that warns you about flashing lights at the start of the game. It appeared to be very quick and bright. My problems were that I’d open some doors and the door was still partially visible. In addition, some rooms with no light source emitted light from the ceiling. However, if the hotel’s power goes out, everything goes dark. As a result, a room with no light source should not appear to have a light turned on.
The audio is simple; we hear the hoover, for example, or the sounds of objects being broken down. The slightly subtle background was fine at first, but I eventually had to turn it down. Basic sound effects also occur when new furniture is installed, such as mounting shelves on the wall. Overall, the audio is adequate; it is simple and functional.
It’s a basic story. You gradually piece together a part of your family history at the hotel as you slowly renovate and redo the hotel room by room and then work up the floors. It works ok the story mode. It’s not going to win awards and just adds something more to the game.
Overall, it’s a good simulator that could easily be ported to a console. The footage captured for the initial thoughts here does demonstrate how the game works. If you like games like House Flipper or the recently released Café Owner Simulator, this is the game for you. It serves the genre well, but it fails to sway those on the fence. It’s a solid title that could be so much better with a few changes.