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Have You Played... Rusty Lake Hotel?

Worse than the Overlook

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

The Rusty Lake games are beautifully macabre creations. Hotel is my favourite, I think, though Roots is perhaps more ambitious. If you haven't played them, you should play both. Here's why...

They're point and click games, in a sense, though you're interacting with scenes in an abstract sense rather than controlling a character on the screen. There's something in common with room escape games and the two commercial Rusty Lake games are connected to a larger, weirder universe that you can explore through the free Cube games, which do belong to the room escape genre.

Essentially, what I'm saying is that these are puzzle games. And I hate most puzzle games because I have no patience and am often incredibly stubborn and foolish. Give me a puzzle game with a strong theme and/or story, and you might keep my attention though. The important thing is that I'm paying so much attention to the colours and the words that I don't realise how much brainpower I'm having to spend on the actual puzzles.

Rusty Lake Hotel is a murder mystery game set in a creepy hotel in which everyone is for dinner. That's the hook and it's such a good hook that even though I've finished the entire game twice I can't remember being annoyed by any of the puzzles. I probably was, but it didn't matter because I had to see what happened next.

This is the strongest recommendation I can give to a puzzle game. Please play Rusty Lake Hotel. And then the rest.

That way you'll be ready for the latest addition, Rusty Lake Paradise, which is out on Thursday.

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In this article

Rusty Lake Hotel

Video Game

Rusty Lake: Roots

Video Game

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About the Author

Adam Smith

Former Deputy Editor

Adam wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun between 2011-2018, rising through the ranks to become its Deputy Editor. He now works at Larian Studios on Baldur's Gate 3.