The Grand Hotel Abaddon weighs in equally with the first entrants in the series, containing a story, split into three equal chapters. Each chapter takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. In similarity to other AGDTS games, The Grand Hotel Abaddon can be enjoyed by up to four players. It is recommended players are 12+.
Packed into a neatly A5 sized box, the game is easily stored. However do consider upfront, when setting up the game, a large playing surface will be required. Fifteen A5 sized location cards need to be displayed at once, by the end of the game!
Each chapter has clear mission goals players need to complete, helping to structure and focus their gameplay. Each character also has a clear goal to achieve too, an added little bonus! Because the game is split into three evenly sized chapters, it is possible to complete one chapter at a time and effectively “Save” the games state, after each chapter is completed. Players will, however, need a camera handy if they do choose this approach, as remembering the state of their playing area is critical. Playing in one go helps to keep players immersed in the narrative, the information gained in each chapter fresh in their minds.
Those players new to the AGDTS series of games will need to study the Rulebook before gameplay can commence. This series of games has a unique playstyle, which can seem very new and complex at first. But once a few rounds have been played it is quickly learned.
New But Familiar
Players who have already experienced an AGDTS game will still need to familiarise themselves with new aspects of the gameplay. This should be achieved by a quick, five-minute read of the Rulebook.
Two new additions in the Grand Hotel Abaddon are “Question-Mark Markers” and “Non-Player Characters. Both are excellent additions, building on the gameplay of previous AGDTS games. “Question-Mark Markers”, can be used by players to mark parts of the game where they may wish to revisit. This may be because they feel they do not yet possess all the required components to make use of that part of the game. This is a huge improvement on players having to keep their own, individual lists.
“Non-Player Characters” (NPCs) add an extra level of depth to the gameplay in The Grand Hotel Abaddon. Players now speak to, interact with, and move these NPCs around the discovered locations as part of their gameplay. The introduction of these NPCs enhances the theme and makes the game feel more dynamic and less linear.
A Helping Hand(ish)
As with all other AGDTS games, it is recommended to download the companion app. The companion app offers players the ability to have the narrative of their story read to them. Each AGDTS game has its own interface within the app. Compared to previous games, The Grand Hotel Abaddon’s interface was not as user-friendly, leading to a little frustration. This was is a shame, given this is not the case for previous games.
Players who have played other AGDTS games will appreciate how enhanced Adventure Games: The Grand Hotel Abaddon is. It is clear Kosmos has been hard at work. Not just creating another game in the series, but identifying ways in which they can improve the AGDTS series of games.
After completing The Grand Hotel Abaddon, I was left more excited than other AGDTS games for the next release and to see where this series may go next. Players could tackle The Grand Hotel Abaddon as their first AGDTS game. But playing earlier offerings from the series after may leave them disappointed, as they will feel much simpler.
As with all these games, a large playing surface is required. But if players know this upfront, then they will not be disappointed. Looking past the issues experienced by the app interface, The Grand Hotel Abaddon is by far the best AGDTS game yet.
Players who have played AGDTS games before, then this is a must purchase, those new to the franchise will not be disappointed either. Perfect for a rainy day inside or split over three 90 minute chapters do take a trip to the Grand Hotel Abaddon!