Last Window: The Secret of Cape West (DS): COMPLETED!

tumblr_n2eb63btb11svmpf2o1_1280Obviously, I’m going to have to stick some spoilers in here, otherwise I’m not going to be able to say anything about the game. Because, oh boy, were there a few reveals in the latter half of Last Window. Like in the first game, hardly anyone was quite who they appeared to be, and everyone had at least one secret to hide.

The main “what?!” moment was when Dylan – as in, bumbling clumsy sticky-beak handyman Dylan – is revealed to not just be “a bit curious” or even “somewhat creepy”, but in fact is spying on behalf of Nile – the mysterious crime organisation that operates outside the law (and, as it happens, within the law itself). Sure, I thought there was something a bit odd with him, but he’s essentially the main bad guy!

tumblr_n2eb4ugybr1svmpf2o1_1280Then there’s the full backstory of Mags and her involvement in the past events, leading to her almost killing Kyle and Tony (seriously – old woman got mad ninja knockout skillz) when Kyle’s just about to make the final breakthrough. Where the hell did she get “police-strength sleep spray” from? It’s never explained.

And Will White not being Will White? And Marie nearly jumping off the roof to her death? Drama!

Anyway, as in Hotel Dusk, the last few hours play is mostly about tying up the ends of each character’s story. Most of them have a past issue that needs resolving, or they need convincing to leave Cape West, and once that’s done Kyle moves onto the getting the final answers to all the remaining questions. In this game, that meant finding a hidden poker room, which revealed in a very Raiders of the Lost Ark way, a secret stash containing the very gem Kyle’s dad died stealing 25 years ago.

As with Last Window, there’s a lot of million-to-one chance coincidences. Some are explained, some are left as mere unlikely chances. This does make the story feel a little contrived, but thankfully – again, like the first title – the story is strong enough to carry it. It felt like a proper detective novel, played out with a stylus.

tumblr_n2eb5owsdm1svmpf2o1_1280There weren’t many puzzles, and most were quite easy, but it made (as did Cing’s other works) great, and unusual, use of the DS too. In one part of the game you have to retrieve a key from a musical box. It’s inside a rotating drum in the box, and the DS itself acts as the box and lid. Open the DS, the music plays and the drum rotates. Close the DS and the music stops. To get the key out, you have to mostly close the DS when a gap in the drum lines up with the key, then press R to lever the key out a little, then squeeze the stylus inside the mostly-shut DS to “grab” the key and pull it free. Awkward, just like the actual task would be really. Brilliant!

At a little over 15 hours I’d finished the game. I’d say that was a pretty much perfect length to spread the story out without wishing for it to just wrap up quickly. My only complaint is that there aren’t any more Cing games to play, as they disbanded years ago. Shame.

Last Window: The Secret of Cape West (DS)

tumblr_n26u4tssfx1svmpf2o1_1280Super Backlog Fighter! I’ve had this for almost a year now, but, like many things, it’s sat on the Pile of Shame (TM). But now I have saved it from that pile, and am playing it! On an actual DS Lite too, for added retro authenticity. Not that the game, or the DS Lite is actually that old, but you know what I mean.

Many moons ago, I played Hotel Dusk: Room 101. It was a point-and-click interactive story adventure puzzle detective novel noir game. This is also a point-and-click interactive story adventure puzzle detective novel noir game. Not surprisingly as it’s the sequel.

Now, I recall many of the events in the first game, and the basic plot and so on, but everything else has long since fallen out of my head. Through playing Last Window, some has returned, but I feel I really should re-read the novel that came with the original to refamiliarise myself with what went down.

Last Window is plainly a continuation of the original game in more than just plot. The controls and graphical styles are the same, the sort of dialogue and puzzles wouldn’t be out of place in Hotel Dusk, and you’re even (essentially) in another hotel – only this time in Room 202 rather than 101. If only developers Cing were still around so we could find out what mystery surrounds Room 303. Sadly, 404 is not found. Oho.

Are_you_offeringLike the first game, there are some boggling coincidences in the characters and locations, almost as if the Hotel Cape West is the receiving area for some sort of alien kidnapping where people who have linked pasts (not all knowingly) are plucked out of their lives and made to stay in the hotel until they figure out what they all have in common. And not just links to each other, but also links to the events of 13 years before the game takes place (which is 1980), and a further 12 years before that. And murder. Or possibly murders.

Currently, I’ve played up to part way through Chapter 5. I’ve gained access to the out-of-bounds (probably due to said murder) fourth floor of the Cape West, found more questions than answers, and poor lonely Kyle Hyde (the protagonist) has completely failed to score with, or, in fact, even notice the rampant flirting of the resident Filthy Minxes (TM) Claire and Betty.  He’s too busy being down about the death of his dad, being evicted from his apartment, and losing his job. Poor guy.

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS): COMPLETED!

Aaaaaaand done. Wow. That was amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sucked into a game’s storyline. In fact, it isn’t a game. It’s a remarkable work of interactive fiction. Yeah, so it’s not “art”, and yeah, the dialogue could have done with some improvement, but the story wins out.

I can’t say much more, except the ending seemed to be a little, unfinished. I still have questions that need answers, and I need to know more about some of the links between characters. And why were there so many coincidences? I’ve put it down to the Wish room actually granting wishes, but that seems a bit too vague to me. Did Bradley arrange for everyone to be there? Where did Mila get the Hotel Dusk pamphlet? Surely she’d not hung onto it all that time.

Sequel, mayhaps?

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS)

I didn’t think it was possible to tangle the lives of the people staying at the hotel any further, but clearly Cing found another dimension somewhere to expand the tangleness. You know how your telephone cord gets all tangled when you’re talking to Great Aunt Maud about her cat, and you keep twisting it round your finger? It’s like that. Only more.

So I’m now well into Chapter 8, which Timmy (he loves that name) had warned me about, in terms of the number of coincidences. And lo, there were many more, involving Rosa this time, and (I expect) Dunning.

DAHN DAHN DAHHHHHHHHHHHN!

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS)

This game is very engrossing. The story, although slow, is gripping. There are many twists, and now the coincidences are starting to reach melting point. Virtually every character is now linked to every other character (and me) in some way or another.

I’m convinced I’m going to reach then end and find it’s all been a dream or something.

Anyway. I’m onto Chapter 7 now, and it looks like the next person to “tackle” is going to be Iris…

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS)

It’s kind of difficult to do a “running commentary” of Hotel Dusk, as it has so many plot twists that I’d ruin the game for anyone reading who is going to play it for themselves.

I can, however, say a little. Firstly, I’ve noticed that each chapter seems to focus on certain characters more than others. For example, one chapter is mainly about the little girl you meet right near the start of the game (and her parents), one is mostly about Louie/Louis (make your mind up, Cing!), and Chapter 4 was mainly about the author.

I’m now part way through Chapter 5, and I’ve just finished “chatting” with the spooky girl wot can’t speak.

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS)

Yes, yes yes. I’ve started yet another game even though I still haven’t completed Contact and Excite Truck and ten billion other games.

Hotel Dusk is AMAZING. It’s a book that you play. A detective mystery book with plot twists and strange characters and more coincidences than is physically possible to cram into one small place. Everyone staying in the hotel seems to be linked to each other in several different ways. It’s very odd indeed, but also totally compelling.

So I’m some four and a half hours in so far, have just finished the first bit of Chapter 3, and can’t really say a lot as virtually everything would be a plot-ruining spoiler for anyone reading who hasn’t played it.

I will say, though, that although the game isn’t “funny”, it did have me in stitches when Kyle is asked if his room was fine, to which he replied “Yeah, everything’s aces”. HE SAID ACES! Best!