Hotel Mario: Philips CD-i May Review

Hotel Mario: May featured game

Mario’s first outing on the Philips CD-i comes in the shape of Hotel Mario.

Hotel Mario: Philips CD-i
Hotel Mario: Level 1

I’ve seen Hotel Mario slated on many occasions. As a Mario game I can understand the dislike but I prefer to look at Hotel Mario as an ode to the Golden Age arcade era. If you strip away the Mario-ness of it all and look at Hotel Mario for what it is then there’s a game akin to the likes of Donkey Kong or Burgertime, admittedly 10-15 years too late, but it can still be fun.


Invited over by the Princess, Mario and Luigi show up to find a note… Bowser has kidnapped her (yes, again… I suppose everyone needs a hobby) and hidden her in one of his 7 hotels. Presumably at this point Bowser’s hospitality empire is still taking off and he’s not accumulated any castles.

Hotel Mario: Philips CD-i

So off trots Mario to the first hotel to find the Princess. At this point we find Mario has a touch of OCD because in order to find the Princess he has to close all of the doors to progress to the next hotel. Mario must, therefore, work his way between platforms by way of lifts. Familiar critturs such as Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Wigglers and others are there to hinder you. Like any Mario game these can be dispensed by bouncing on their heads. There are coins to collect along the way too. Closing all the doors on a given hotel means you can then move onto the next.

The game is two player with player one taking on the role of Mario, and player two Luigi. Once player one finishes their turn then player two gets theirs.


The graphics are somewhat… pleasant, they have that cutesy Amiga feel to them. Colours are nicely varied and shading is similarly good. Sprites move smoothly and the characters are easy to identify with their Nintendo counterparts of that era. Of particular fondness are the cartoon cutscenes which wouldn’t have been out of place in the Super Mario TV cartoons of the time. Everything all kind of ties in to that branding and I think that is how it should be seen, as an addendum to the cartoons rather than the Nintendo games.


Music, while repetitive, is jolly and reminiscient of that Golden Age arcade feel I talked about earlier. Sound effects are fitting if somewhat limited.

Gameplay:3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)
Graphics:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Sound:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Final Score:3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Publisher: Philips Interactive
Release Year: 1994
Players: 1-2 (alternating)
Genre: Arcade: Platform
System: Philips CD-i

    • Joystick

Play @