Hotel Dusk follows Kyle Hyde, a disgraced detective turned salesman who gets sent to a run-down hotel called Hotel Dusk. Kyle soon learns that the hotel is somehow connected to his past, and begins to investigate. Players hold the Nintendo DS upright, like a book, as they navigate the hotel using the DS touch screen, talking with different characters, picking up clues and solving puzzles. Due to the large amount of reading, mature themes and occasionally strong language, the game is only recommended for players ages 13 and up.
Arranging and coordinating materials and activities in order to complete a task.
While investigating the hotel, players will acquire mountains of information, and will have to write down clues in Kyle's notebook using the DS stylus and touchscreen. Kyle also finds many items during his investigation, and each has its own use. Players will need to link their items to the information they receive, so good note-taking is crucial for figuring out what to do next. The ability to organize information usefully is key to solving the game's mysteries.
Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.
Many puzzles in Hotel Dusk require events to happen in the correct order, and the objects that players find over the course of the game will prove useful in Kyle's investigation, even if they cannot interact with the objects right away. For example, when Kyle breaks his briefcase key, he suggests using a piece of wire to pick the lock. If players previously examined the hotel brochure in Kyle's room, they would notice a paperclip holding the pages together. However, players are not able to put the paperclip into Kyle's inventory until he recognizes the need for a thin metal wire. Performing actions in the correct sequence is a key part of advancing the game.
Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.
Each room in Hotel Dusk has a number of objects that Kyle can examine. Some of these items can hold valuable hints to solve puzzles, some are things that Kyle can take with him and use later, while some are just there for decoration. The only way for players to determine the actual purpose of an item is to have Kyle examine it closely. If players should miss objects, they may lack the information necessary to solve puzzles and advance later in the game.
Understanding our own actions, thoughts and feelings.
Every character in Hotel Dusk has their own personality, with individual interests and temperaments. Players guide Kyle through conversations with the tenants of Hotel Dusk, and occasionally are given a choice of two or more possible questions to ask. Often, these questions can unlock further topics of discussion. However, asking a tenant the wrong question can upset them, halting the conversation or even ending the game. Players who are able to read the personalities and interests of each character they speak to can more easily choose the correct questions to ask.
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