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Dead Mountaineer's Hotel preview
(hx) 10:02 AM EDT - Sep,18 2006

Dead Mountaineer Hotel is an adventure game, based on the original story written by the Strugatsky brothers. Urgently called, a police inspector arrives in a hotel, but can't find any crime. However, he scents some strangeness occurring there. He decides to leave, but a snow avalanche erupts in the mountains, making it impossible for him to leave. Soon, the inspector has found a body of a dead lodger. Now everyone who lives in the hotel is under suspicion. The attractive and intricate investigation in the seventies results in unexpected mysterious final.

A couple days ago, Akella provided us a short beta demo of the game. The gameplay should be familiar to anyone who has played an adventure game before. You simply walk around, looking for objects or other characters to talk to. The interface is a quite standard/simple  - left click to interact, right click to inventory. Conversations are accomplished through typical dialogue trees. I can't comment on the voice acting yet (as the beta demo included only subtitles).

The puzzles in the game are for the most part inventory-based. However, this is not a mere pixel hunt for items and scurrying to use them on some object or another. Instead they are more challenging, without being unfair or impossibly obscure. The demo took me only 15 minutes to finish, so there's not much else to say - yet :-)

Dead Mountaineer Hotel, developed by Akella/Electronic Paradise, is scheduled for release-hopefully worldwide-in the fourth quarter of 2006. There are discussions going on with potential North American publishers, but nothing signed yet.

Here're some quotes from developers on the game:

1) Usually when the game is based on original detective story, people are interesting in how close will be the storyline to the book plot. So, we'll have 3 different versions of endings in the game, and one of them will be exactly like it is in the book. In this case you'll play the game like read the book. And if you'll ask where is the point where the game process could divide to three different ways, I'll answer: at the main point, right after the finding a dead body.

2) We told that there are 15 characters in the game. So, according to the book, this amount includes 11 guests of the hotel, hotel owner (here are the main characters in the book), but in action is also: a taxi driver, a crime Champion and... The Mountaineer by himself. And oh, I forgot a dog - a very clever St. Bernard which sheds hair permanently.

3) You've seen in the text of catalogue that the game goes in real time. So it means, that the game will be interactive, all guests have their own the daily routine etc. Moreover, all NPCs will change their relations to the main hero dependently on his behavior. But this will be in accordance with classical parameters of adventure games. Like: You said rude things to one of guests. If he had an information for you he will not tell this after the your rude words. And you'll have to find the news source of information or move without it. Just remember: the behavior of the Hero, detective - is the main thing that changes and defines the behavior of other characters and the situation the Hotel.

4) Dead Mountaineers Hotel includes as classical puzzles as quests. But we'll also include some funny minigames… and they'll mostly concern winter

genre: adventure
release: December 2006 (Russia)
developer: Electronic Paradise
publisher: Akella

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