You can check in, but you can't -- no, wait. You can definitely check out.
Like humans, monsters need occasional rest and relaxation. And like a human vacation, monster vacations sometimes go awry. We imagine that the consequences of a bad stay at a werewolf-exclusive resort could be anything from a bad review at Yelp to violently beheaded staff. Unfortunately, while Hotel Transylvania Dash doesn’t do anything so drastic with its source material, it also fails to do much creative with it either.
Hotel Transylvania Dash is based on the upcoming Hotel Transylvania movie, an animated adventure about Dracula’s (un-)life being thrown in turmoil when a human stumbles across his monster resort. Said human eventually appears in Hotel Transylvania Dash, though the game’s main premise involves Dracula and his daughter building a honeymoon suite for a couple of relatives. If you’ve played any game in the Dash series, Hotel Transylvania Dash should be as easy to navigate as a well-lit cemetery. You (as Dracula) need to check guests into the hotel room, serve them meals, grab towels and pillows, clean up messes, check them out—and then you need to do it again, but faster, faster, faster. You gain more points when you chain actions together, and scoring points is how you advance to other levels. If you fail to make your point quota, you’re bumped back to the start of the level. Spooky!
After you successfully work through a day, you can buy upgrades that make Dracula move faster or keep restless hotel guests patient while they wait for service. Certain rooms also grant “Blood Bux,” which you use to buy items for your honeymoon suite. Your clientele includes slightly more exotic far than the series staples, such as fly people, fish monsters, beasts, blobs, and more. And they’re all infuriatingly well behaved! Hotel Transylvania Dash is based on a kids’ property, so we’re not asking for Dracula to clean up gnawed-on bodies, but serving monsters here isn’t any more exciting than serving the humans in any other Dash game. With source material so ripe for parody, it's a shame behavioural quirks, clever animations, and a light sense of scariness went unexploited.
This isn't to say Hotel Transylvania Dash isn’t a bad game by any means. It’s simply solid. Average. If you’ve played even one Dash game, then you’ve played this before. The tap-based controls here are responsive, and it’s admittedly nice to see that your tasks are numbered as you queue them up—a slight change that really cuts down on instances of confusion. But we’re talking about a movie that features classic film monsters. Mysterious narratives. There’s a lot of great material to work with, but Hotel Transylvania Dash plays it ultra-safe, neglecting to do much else besides a promotional re-skin.
If you’re dying (Mwa-ha-ha!) for another Dash game, Hotel Transylvania Dash is a worthwhile addition to your collection. If you’re Dashed out, though, leave these monsters to enjoy the peace and quiet that they deserve. There's not much unfinished business here.
- Responsive touch controls. Addictive Dash formula is still here. Slight tweaks to info presentation helps aspiring spooky resort managers stay organized.
- Lots of unexploited potential: he Dash formula is still solid, but it’s also getting stale. Nothing original or fun is done with the game’s movie monster theme. Would have loved to see the chance to cater to guests differently depending on storylines. Feels like an overt re-skin.