Hotel Mario was the first in what could have been two games for the CD-i featuring the plumber and his bro, Luigi. While Mario's Wacky Worlds never saw the shining light of completion, this title did, but spun its tale of tragedy in the Mushroom Kingdom via puzzle oriented hotel crashing. Not particularly bad; one of the more playable and enjoyable titles available for the CD-i, but far from the polished gameplay of Nintendo-based Mario titles (minus Mario is Missing and Mario's Time Machine, of course).
This game is, at heart, soul, and all other organs a truly funky, a puzzle game. The high-minded premise involves Bowser kidnapping the princess and hiding her in one of his seven hotels. Bowser's venture into entrepreneurship has been unnoted in Mario's past, which is odd due to the large number of hostile enemies from previous Mario games that reside in these domiciles. Notwithstanding, the Italian duo dynamico venture on to save the captive princess.
The intro to this game, as well as every other CD-i game I've played thus far, features the same caliber less-than-sweatshop quality animated cut-scene explaining the plot aided by the wondrous medium of talentless voice actors. I don't know where they dug up these actors, but I know about a handful of possibly Italian-descended kids who could have done a much better job. So much for equal but embarrassing opportunity employment from Philips!
At the heart of this game, players will guide their mustache man through hotels divided by floors; usually too many sublevels per hotel to maintain interest through an entire game. The objective is to close every door on every level to proceed; the enemies are incidental, it seems. The character models for Mario and Luigi are laughable, but the enemies are even more so. The Koopa Troopas in particular look more like grumpy middle-aged balding men than legitimate "baddies". These guys pace angrily back and forth, re-opening the doors you earlier closed; a real pain in the ass more than anything. The wigglers from Super Mario World are also present, however if you find yourself on the same level as they, a quick dash into an opened door is necessary to allow them to pass by you. I accidentally killed one by jumping up at it from a lower level, but couldn't repeat the process later.
In short, this is a mediocre title that most would greet with a lukewarm response. Mario's true home is with Nintendo, and this title solidifies that sentiment. Not bad, per se, but not meriting the purchase of this bizarre system.