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Nintendo has a long history of Mario games under their belt, and there are plenty of stellar entries in the franchise. There’s even a litany of fantastic spin-offs out there as well, and fans have no doubt played most of them. One spin-off that Nintendo diehards probably haven’t played is Hotel Mario, one of the oddest entries in the Mario franchise.
Long story short, Hotel Mario is a puzzle video game developed by Fantasy Factory and published by Philips Interactive Media for the Philips CD-i in 1994. Yes, there was a time when Nintendo partnered with Philips Interactive for some collaborative titles, which spawned Hotel Mario, along with the much more infamous Zelda CD-i titles.
Nintendo was obviously involved with Hotel Mario, but just how much did they offer during the development process? GamesReviews spoke with Stephen Radosh, designer and executive producer on Hotel Mario, to find out.
I had to get approval from Nintendo with a lot of the things that we did. They wanted to be sure the world that we created looked like it belonged to the franchise, as anything portrayed in Hotel Mario was a reflection on them. A manager at Nintendo named Cammy [Budd] was our main contact. They were pleased as far as I knew.
Hotel Mario is one of the very few Nintendo-related games that you can’t find on a single Nintendo platform, but rumor has it that wasn’t always the plan. According to Radosh, Nintendo supposedly had some interest in bringing Hotel Mario to their platforms. No specifics were given on what platforms were considered, but it’s quite obvious things didn’t pan out.