The Dink Network

Hotel of the Middle Night

It's your job to find out Holy hell, that is gory.
February 12th, 2010
Score : 9.5 exceptional
Peasant Male
I Bring Tidings of Spam 
Really, I wasn't really expecting much. No offense to Skull, but his older DMODS have been, well, bad.

Dink visits an island and finds a hotel for him and his crew to stay. This hotel is called Middle Night, and is haunted by the ghosts of the old owners. Dink takes a rest in his room and is awakened by loud footsteps, and a loud voice that shouts, "GO AWAYYY!!". It's your job to find out what is going on at this hotel. this is really short, and is only the first part of a trilogy. But from what I have seen, this is in dire need of a sequel very soon. This is a great concept that must not be quit.
This will be the last time I critique a game based on its visuals, because graphics don't make a great game. But I will say that the use of the night tiles really set the atmosphere of this Halloween Mystery. The cape and cloaked guy from the storage room were very nicely done (who could that guy be!?).
Mapping and Scripting
The Mapping: Very nice with little hardness errors. The caverns could be very confusing, for you start in the middle of a room when you enter them, so you can't really tell how to get back, or where to go (that is of course, not back where you came).
The Scripting: Very well done. The intro sequence is passable, which is very nice, because you can continue the story the moment you're done reading, instead of having to wait a few more seconds after reading. There were some minor spelling mistakes, but they're easily ignored. It can be confusing that the bed is the only save bot in this game, though.
Overall and Final Comments
So, overall, Skull made a nice, exciting game, that ends on a cliffhanger that really makes you wait in anticipation when the next will be released. I can't wait until Skull decides to make the sequel to this. On a side-note, he could have just squeezed all the parts into one game, for it is a little too short.
January 2nd, 2010
Score : 7.8 good
Jester Male Australia
You feed the madness, and it feeds on you. 
Well, I've got some spare time, so I thought why not post up a review for the Dmod that I played before I left?

As far as I know, this is the first attempt at a Dmod purely focused on the horror-theme, as in a no-fighting and no-action gameplay style - just talking, solving and decision making.
I'm pretty sure there hasn't even been a horror-themed Dmod released, let alone one of this style, but I could be wrong.

The story of this Dmod can seem quite confusing and complex at first, but this might just because the first time I played it was around 3:00AM in the morning(tiredness messes with your mind). Anyway, it is as follows:
Dink is on a quest to stop an evil cast plot and on the way he finds an island, so he decides to stay on the island, in a hotel that he finds - 'Hotel of the Middle Night'. That's the intro, and the player is introduced to it through text. A proper cutscene intro could have made it better, but it still worked.
When you start playing, you are soon introduced to the different characters, and their personalities, although you won't gain as much knowledge about the characters if you don't actually choose to talk to them manually, but most of them are introduced either directly or indirectly through later cutscenes.
As you talk to characters and watch the cutscenes play out, you discover more of the storyline which includes the history of the hotel. The further you play, the further the story unfolds and the more you start to make sense of the history of the hotel and put all the pieces of the story together. I won't be spoiling the story here, but I would just like to add I like the way it ends, as most of charactes end up turning out to be someone else - someone they weren't... very deceiving.

This Dmod uses a few new graphics, including a cape and a caped guy, and they are used well.
Hotel of the Middle Night also uses other Dinkers graphics, such as the night tile graphics, and it really fits in with this Dmod. If this Dmod was set during the day it just wouldn't work.

The gameplay revolves around talking, puzzle solving and decision making. This system worked well for this type of Dmod, but one thing I didn't like was that it seemed like the emphasis was more on the gameplay in some situations, with no concise explanation as to the point of carrying some parts of the Dmod out. It felt like it had no point or story behind some of the smaller events that took place throughout the Dmod, like you would just find yourself going around the island searching everything you came across because the objective for that specific point in the storyline wasn't exactly clear. But aside from that, it was good. I liked the way in which you had to Talk to people to try and solve the 'mystery' of the hotel and eventually uncover the truth.

Game sounds and music
The music and game sounds were definitely used properly and in the correct situations. They fit the horror-theme well and added to it. This was one of my favourite aspects of this Dmod.

Hotel of the Middle Night was a good, well-made Dmod and I enjoyed playing it. Even though certain parts may have seemed a bit bland, the new system and the style of this Dmod worked well for the most part. The one thing I have to commend the author on is that as far as I know, no one has attempted a Dmod like this before, and in my opinion, this Dmod was quite creative.
I cannot simply say whether or not you should download this Dmod, or determine if you will enjoy it, nor can anyone else - It all depends on what type of game you like, since this Dmod was made with a completely different style of gameplay.

Score: 7.8
August 12th, 2009
Score : 4.3 tolerable
Bard Male Netherlands
I object 
When the hotel of the middle night came out back in late '08 I tried playing through it, but I quickly became bored with it and gave up. Now, almost a year later, Skull convinced me to give it another try. Unfortunately this new playthrough still left me disappointed, and I'd probably not finished it either if it wasn't for the walkthrough.

The main question that I had when I played this game was 'why?' There doesn't seem to be any logic involved in the story. You complete a number of tasks in a very specific order without any hint on what you should be doing next. In practice this means you are walking aimlessly through the DMOD touching, hitting, pushing and talking to everything until you hit upon a cutscene somehow. Not my idea of great gameplay. Also there seemed to be hardness randomly distributed over some of the interior rooms.

The idea of this DMOD was to be scary, but unfortunately the gameplay takes away a lot of the atmosphere. If you're looking for a completely random object that will progress the story for 15 minutes in a world completely devoid of hidden danger you're not going to feel afraid anymore, no matter how good the sound effects are. Because the sound effects are good. While I didn't feel particularly afraid I did think the sound effects and music were used very well, they fit in perfectly with this type of DMOD.

Another thing I was annoyed by is the apparent lack of a savemachine. Why, oh why can't I find a savemachine? According to the readme it has one, but I couldn't find it. So, when I finally got to the final boss I had 5 seconds to do 'something'. Again no clue was given what I needed to do, so I just started talking, pushing, hitting and touching things. But I didn't manage managed to do exactly the right thing in five seconds. So, I get killed and need to start all over again. Am I glad there is a walkthrough next time.

One of the good things of this DMOD is its story. There were people with mistaken identities, and people who you thought were dead that turned out to be very much alive or at least not very dead. I especially liked the last cutscene The only thing missing is the link with the actual gameplay. This means that the story that you see consists out of random bits of information that are linked together in a random order until they are explained in the last cutscene. A logical order would have done great things for the story. Oh and the story is a bit too complicated for the size of DMOD as well. I would have chosen a slightly more modest story.

So, if you compare my review with the other reviews on this side I might come around a bit harsh. But really I can't see how walking aimlessly until you somehow hit upon something new is fun, or scary for that matter. All in all I was more frustrated then anything else. It might have a good story, but that's like putting bad food in a fancy wrap. I liked the wrap.

Final verdict:

February 24th, 2010
Score : 8.0 good
Peasant Male Finland bloop
"I'd like to be a tree..." 
Yes, this is a review to my own D-Mod. For this review, I will try to put aside my ego, and actually go through the aspects of this game like if it was made by a completely different person.

First and foremost, there is no guarantee that you will like this D-Mod. It is completely based on solving puzzles and talking to people. No fighting is included either, so you will either like this game as a different style of D-Mod, or you will hate it.

On his quest to defeat another evil plot of Cast, Dink decides to sleep over a night in a hotel named Middle Night. During the night, Dink finds most of the hotel folks killed by an unknown threat. He then discovers who/what has been murdering all the people, and at the same time, he gets more information about the hotel.

As pointed out previously, this D-Mod includes no fighting but is purely based on solving puzzles and talking to specific people. The player never discovers anything before Dink does (unless he guesses), so it brings the player closer to the main character of the game.
Usually, if you wander around the island or inside the hotel enough, you will find out what you need to do, although sometimes searching for stuff can be quite frustrating.
It should also have been pointed out that the bed is used to save in this game.
The player is also given a chance to leave the island whenever he feels like it. This creates a more realistic feeling. This ending is classified as "bad ending", even though you know Dink is safe by that time.

The graphics are used quite well in the D-Mod, in my honest opinion. The new graphics are made by other Dinkers, but they still fit the D-Mod. As far as I know, nobody has never used the night tiles before, and they fit extremely well into this D-Mod, and create the correct atmosphere. The other new graphic is the cloaked guy, who can be seen in one of the cut-scenes.

The mapping is quite boring and can frustrate the player. More details should be added. The map also has quite a many hardness errors. Overall, the map is decent.

Music and sounds:
Music and sounds are gathered together through the internet. This is probably most people's favourite aspect of this D-Mod, seeing as they create most of the atmosphere to the D-Mod.

Original storyline, great use of soundtrack, gameplay is quite good and very original for a D-Mod.

The map badly needs more details and suffers from some depth- and hardness issues.

A good and original D-Mod that gives you a great "horror hour".

Fit for:
Basically anyone. There are no guarantees that you like it though. Either you love it or hate it.

Final words:
Beware for part 2.
July 8th, 2009
Score : 5.5 fair
Peasant Male New Zealand steam
After seeing the release date on this I wondered to myself "How come I havn't played this yet?"
I soon found out why.

firstly the bad:
This D-MOD takes away the point of Dink Smallwood being an RPG, there is absolutly no character building in the way of leveling up or increasing your stats.
There is nothing to fight at all during the whole D-MOD.
There were a few places where the hardness was a bit strange i.e. I had trouble getting back into the hotel because the warp hardness wasn't where the door sprite was.
The key was a mission in itself to find, and after trying to walk over it many times I finally worked out that you had to talk to the key to pick it up.
And the map overall made me feel as though it was uncomplete because of the lack of detail.

Lastly the good:
The first "Get out!" really sent shivers down my back, and it didn't help that I had my headphones on loud.
The storytelling was really in depth and it made me want to continue playing until the end.

I really am looking forward to the next in the middle night series, and hopefully the rest of the next D-MOD will be up to the standards of the storyline.
April 18th, 2009
Version 1.00
Score : 7.9 good
Peasant Male New Zealand
I'm pretty sure I'm worth atleast SIX goats... 
This game is really good, i enjoyed the concept of a horror/mystery d-mod.
the part where he hears the "get out!" thing really freaked me out, if that was your intention then good job! Then again i was playing it in the middle of the night! ^_^

the good- the gameplay awsome. the story and plot awsome.
scare factor maybe 65%

the bad- sometimes you get walk into invisible barriers
alot of unused screens. you also left a bunch of save files on it!

by the way where IS that friggin key?

December 4th, 2008
Version 1.00
Score : 8.3 good
Peasant Male United States
Youth is wasted on the young 
I enjoyed very much the storyline on this one. Sort of a mystery DMOD as you need to figure out who (or what) is killing everyone.
The layout was kind of boring though as only one or two screens outside of the hotel and a couple of them inside the hotel have any bearing on the progression of the story. Too much useless tile spaces. Thankfully however it is a small map.

The Good -- Although one or two things are hard to find you are never in doubt as to what you should do next. It was hard to find the key and hard to figure what I could do in 5 seconds to defeat the vampire but that was good, if it is too easy it is no fun. I also enjoyed the surprise ending.

The Bad -- There were a number of hardness errors, and the afore mentioned useless tiles.

Overall -- I highly reccomend this little romp, in my opinion it is Skulls best DMOD to date.