An Overlooked Gem
Let's be clear here: Hotel Dusk is not for everyone. I don't want to make a statement like, "You must play this game! It will change your life!" That's a straight up lie that could piss someone off when they play it and their life remains unchanged. That said, it is well worth trying. I think it was an under-marketed game that passed under a lot of people's radar, and that's a crying shame. I absolutely loved this game and hope to God that somehow another one gets made.
This is technically an adventure game, though I consider it more of an interactive comic book. The game focuses on the character of Kyle Hyde, a burnt out former cop turned salesman. You use the stylus to guide Kyle around in first person, and interact with characters and objects in the Hotel Dusk, where Kyle is staying for the night. You interact with characters using dialogue trees, and will often engage them in interrogations to finally squeeze the truth of the other residents (all of whom have secrets to be told). You'll often come across puzzles which usually require the unique functions of the DS to solve. There's also a notebook that you can jot anything down on to help keep track of your progress. However, it's rarely difficult to figure out where to go or what to do next, so you can get the through the game fairly quickly. That's why I consider it a interactive comic, because you're usually just helping the story to unfold.
And it's the story that really shines here. There are some deep characters staying in the hotel, and as you unlock their secrets, you begin to see a connection between them all. It's a really cool progression, and the overall mystery ties into Kyle's own past that he's desperate to solve. The story is one of the best in games today, and even stands above a lot of the trash mystery novels available today. Yes, it is that good. It may move slowly for some people, but I found myself struggling to put the DS down.
So I definitely think Hotel Dusk is worth a try for anyone, and a must buy for fans of adventure games. If you see a copy in the store, go on and pick it up. Come on, it can't cost that much these days. It's over a year old and didn't sell that well, so you ought to be able to pick it up on the cheap. It's the kind of game I wish they made more of, and I hope we get to see Kyle Hyde again someday soon.