Hotel Mario is a puzzle game developed by Fantasy Factory and published by Philips Interactive Media and Nintendo for the Philips CD-i in 1994. The primary character of the game is Mario, who must find Princess Toadstool by going through seven Koopa hotels in the Mushroom Kingdom.
Every hotel is divided into multiple stages, and the objective is to close 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 "Klub 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 Toadstool, 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 Toadstool 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 Toadstool before it collapses. The Princess, now able to rule her kingdom in peace, thanks the Mario brothers, giving them both a kiss.
Why it Sucks
- Very poorly animated cutscenes that look like they were made in MS Paint, similar to the Zelda CD-i games which tend to appear on YouTube Poop videos.
- Cheesy writing.
- 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!"
- Boring and primitive gameplay. The only goal in each level is to run around and close doors.
- 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 longer than before, and if all the doors open, you lose.
- Dreadful controls, which can lead to some 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 some kind of Mafia thug than a plumber.
- Ugly cutscenes which are very cringeworthy.
- As dull as the gameplay is, it's still one of the best games on the CD-i, and would probably be even better if the CD-i's controllers weren't so poor.
- Gorgeous gameplay graphics, with well-draw sprites and varied level design. The cutscenes, even when not used in Youtube Poop, are entertainingly bad in their own right.
- Luigi's voice is actually surprisingly similar to how Charles Martinet would voice him starting with Mario Kart 64.
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds
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. Though it was cancelled, with this being made instead. (Watch James Rolfe and Mike Matei play the unfinished demo here.)