Checking In to Playfish’s New Facebook Game, Hotel City

Playfish has been quiet in recent months, but it’s now working on a new title called Hotel City. The game is live, but in the early beta stages, so we’ll be saving a full review for later. Here’s what we see, now.

The game is a cross between Restaurant City and the Chinese title, Happy Hotel. That said, the emphasis will most likely be on the former, as the Restaurant City elements will probably pertain to the concept of streets full of hotels, hiring friends, and decorating isometric interiors. In regards to Happy Hotel similarities, it likely includes the concept of increasing the value of rooms through decor and letting your non-employee friends (as well as non-player characters) check in and pay you fees to stay.

Happy Hotel has a bit more to its guest recruitment than just this. There’s a whole spiel about recruiting better paying guests, critics, and celebrities to increase your hotel’s rating and popularity. Playfish could incorporate something similar, but the company has, in the past, always tried to be more original with its concepts, than others. Expect features that are similar, in essence, to other Facebook hotel games but done in a much more different way. Nevertheless, in the end, all we know for sure is that the game will grant “more customization offers than ever before” and that you “will employ some of your friends,” with the goal of becoming a 5-Star hotel.

On a different note, it is somewhat surprising that Playfish is not taking the city-building route — especially because its parent company, Electronic Arts, owns the formative Sim City franchise. Already we have seen a number of city games from small developers as well as NanoTowns from Digital Chocolate and Social City from Playdom. Meanwhile, other competitor, CrowdStar is going with tycoon games, having released Zoo Paradise.

Still, while the SimCity-esque games seem to be the bigger boom at the moment, Zynga has also trademarked the names HotelVille and Hotel World, so we could be seeing more hotel games soon.