Million Onion Hotel Review – I have a four-year-old son who doesn’t really like playing the Whac-A-Mole games in malls or wherever. I am happy about that, because it’s actually me who has to finish the game in order to show him how it’s done. Yeah, right…
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Million Onion Hotel Review
The thing is that I have this thing for smacking the animals popping up here and there with the little hammer and feel like an almighty God. Some would say that I have some mental problems to find satisfaction in such puerile games, but I don’t care. For as long as I can, I will “teach” my son to play Whac-A-Mole games.
The thing is that after my first playthrough – my first try at Million Onion Hotel – I was confused. I was strangely satisfied, even happy, but I was confused. I had no idea what just happened, what type of game I played and what was the point of everything, including the dude in underwear in the hotel and that mean, mean lady and all those people who seem to have a thing for onion soup.
But then I played again. And I didn’t really care about the fact that I was a bit less confused and I learned an extra thing or two. I had tons of fun in a strange, bizarre way. And that’s all that matters when you’re playing games (plus or minus the “strange, bizarre” part).
So, yes, Million Onion Hotel is basically Whac-A-Mole on steroids: you can play it with two fingers or 10, trying to hit as many of the vegetables appearing on the board as possible, doing your best to create lines or combos that help you go up the levels, collecting soldiers along the way and defeating strange looking bosses.
You have to pay attention to the insane chaos on the board and collect extra time clocks, hold umbrellas to protect yourself from falling rockets or other projectiles that reduce your time and hope for the best. Quick thinking has to be on your characteristics list because there’s usually chaos on the board. And this somehow works wonderfully!
The gameplay is just perfect for mobile. Touch controls work wonderfully and the music and sound effects are amiable. Hearing the little hum from each onion as I tap it is a simple joy. The pixel art is quite lovely but often too dark for its own good, like trying to read a menu at a restaurant that doesn’t list its prices. A dim presentation can be nice in small doses but there are times where I adjust the brightness on my phone to keep playing, something I have only done for this app. There can also be very brief instances of slowdown — on my phone at least — when too damn much is happening on screen at one time.
None of these quibbles detract from how enjoyable I find Million Onion Hotel. Gunning for a high score keeps me interested, but it’s the batshit insane story has me restarting non-stop after every game over. The prologue can be found on app store pages and in various story cards I collect through each run. They reveal a little about Doctor Peace and his strange hotel, located in Hennokokora, a continent currently in the midst of a war. It’s all cute and appropriately charming.
The main storyline, told through vignettes featuring soup, sex, guns, the mob, and enough pixelated nudity to make Custer’s Revenge blush, is so off the wall that I laugh in disbelief. Did I really just see that? I sit at my desk continually pushing myself to do better and better and better so I can see just what happens next. Level 50 isn’t enough. 500,000 points aren’t enough. I must do more.
Only the best players will see the story through to the end outside of just watching a Let’s Play. Every run of the game starts from square one and goes from there. I set a new personal best with each run, inching closer and closer to an eight-figure score.
Million Onion Hotel is another winner from Onion Games and Yoshiro Kimura. It’s fascinating, freakish, and further proof invigorating games can be found on mobile platforms if you just know where to look.