It's not possible to create more interesting lobbies with escalators or sweeping staircases or waterfalls or slot machines. Everything is floor-by-floor and connected via a set of elevators. Of course, not all hotels are going to be five-star affairs. You get the chance to operate a chain of cheap hotels, which is why I found it so strange that an advertising option wasn't included. After setting up your hotel you can wait quite a long time before you get more than a handful of guests.
You can do some market research to find out what potential customers want in a hotel, but building what they want doesn't necessarily mean they'll stay at your hotel. Advertising specials, trying to attract conventions and whatnot would make it feel that you're doing everything possible to attract customers to your restaurants and bars and guests to your rooms instead of just sitting there twiddling your thumbs.
There is a business side to track, loaded with stats and graphs, but you can play without bothering to check them. The guests themselves border on brainless automatons. This isn't The Sims. You have no control over your customers - they go about they're business at all hours of the day and night. Some like to stand in their bathrooms looking at the wall until 4 AM, others like to do the stutter step on whatever corners they can get caught on.
You can "bribe" them to perform actions like "go to the restaurant" but strangely you can't order them to "get into fist fight with guest in room " which would be much more interesting. These bribes come at a cost, but it's so negligible as to be unnoticed. Besides that, they take their sweet time to actually do what you tell them, if at all. The problem is that these guys just aren't interesting enough to bother with.
Finding out what they like, what they hate, where they are, etc. Unlike the Sims, Hotel Giant is completely 3D so you can zoom in and out, and pan left and right. Top down and a first-person perspective are also available - both essential to better room design. There is also the option to lock onto a guest and follow them around. Rarely do they do anything interesting.
I watched one guy play pool for five minutes whole minutes then go to his room, sleep for an hour, eat in the restaurant, and then leave the hotel. Why not go to the bar and hit on women? All of it moves at a pretty smooth clip no matter what your viewing preference. The graphics themselves are pretty good with a more than objects in the game some of which can be further modified and lots of different textures for your floors, ceiling and walls.
They aren't bad and compare favorably with the Sims. Some other big problems I had was with the narrow campaign goals: build up hotel, make more money, build another hotel. What about fires? What about cases of food poisoning? Guests dying during the night? In real life this happens with a frequency that might surprise you. Hurricane damage?
A thief loose in the hotel? Staff that are dipping into the till? These challenges would have done more to keep me interested. Fulfilling the menial requests of characterless guests didn't do anything to keep me playing. And the inability to take out some of this frustration on your hapless employees just isn't possible.
Beating up on Manuel-type waiters would have been a welcome addition. I guess what I'm trying to say, Hotel Giant bored me after about 5 hours. Or so the endless stream of Tycoon-style game publishers would have us believe.
Why go through the boredom of clawing your way through the soulless capitalist ladder in the real world when you can be just as bored on a computer? Well, here's a news flash: building theme parks is fun, building hotels isn't.
Although Hotel Giant is going for more depth than the standard industry sim by stealing as much as it can from The Sims , it will still drive any right-thinking individual to despair. Which is quite apt, since that is what hotels usually do. To become this fabled Giant, you must complete a set of scenarios where you decorate, renovate and design every aspect of your hotel and keep the customers happy.
This is all done through a pretty awful engine that lets you switch from the traditional isometric view to a first-person camera, making the whole thing even more of a voyeur simulator than usual. Not that the people here ever do anything interesting. Don't expect to emulate William Baldwin in the equally dire film Sliver. You won't find Sharon Stone fiddling with herself in any of your hotel's bathtubs.