The Spectrum Retreat

The Spectrum Retreat is an interesting puzzle game filled with adventure and intrigue. However, the creative process behind the game is just as interesting as the game itself. For some, even more so. Why? because The Spectrum Retreat was developed by Dan Smith from the age of 15, and in about 5 year period. During that time, he managed to complete the game and secure a publishing deal. Which is an impressive accomplishment indeed.

Secondly, an early version of the game won the BAFTA Young Game Designer Game Making Award. Furthermore, the game was nominated for “Best Writing in a Video Game” at the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards. However, two years after the release, the game is still polarizing with the critics and the audience. It’s both praised and criticized for having two distinct art styles and game-play sections. Is it really that divisive? Find out for yourself.

The Spectrum Retreat

The Spectrum Retreat Is On Sale!

That’s right. The Spectrum Retreat is currently part of our summer sale hare and IndieGala, but the sale expires very soon. You can purchase the game here before the sale ends, and enjoy a very different adventure puzzle game. What’s the game all about? Well, scroll down to find out.

The Spectrum Retreat And Discovering The Intricate Details Of The Game

Developed by Dan Smith Studios and published by Ripstone, The Spectrum Retreat is a challenging, first-person puzzle game. Also, the game is set in a beautiful hotel in the not so distant future. And that’s where most of the fun happens. Because at the start of the game, you will awake at the aforementioned Penrose hotel. A very peaceful yet unsettling refuge from the outside world. You’re a highly valued guest at the hotel, but your existence is embedded into the corridors and guest rooms.

First, the exploration of the striking art-deco hotel will help you solve mysteries. But once uncovered, you then must solve them. However, you must know that there are plenty of obstacles in your mission. An array of color-coded puzzles, mind-bending physics and various challenges are just the tip of the iceberg. Will, you succeeded? It’s up to you to find out.

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I mean just take a look at some of these mini-reviews:

“Often puzzle games put the story in the backseat, but The Spectrum Retreat’s narrative sucks us straight in.”

9/10 – GameReactor

“Puzzles are cleverly and integrally woven into the narrative; perhaps better than in any other example, Portal included.”

10/10 – PassTheController

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The Spectrum Retreat And Some Great Movies Set In Hotels

You’ve guessed it. The Spectrum Retreat inspired me to select and share some of the best movies that are set in hotels. Partially or fully set, it doesn’t matter. The setting should be in one particular room or the entire premises, but such an establishment should be featured heavily in the movie. HOTELS! However, when I look back at my recent writings, I just know that I mentioned Hotel Transylvania before, so I hope that counts as well. So, without further ado… Scroll down to find out my picks.

Barton Fink

I just couldn’t help but include the Coen brother’s masterpiece here. The eerie Hotel Earle takes a life of its own in this movie. But the occupants of the hotel are the ones that are frightening and interesting at the same time. Namely, the titular character Barton Fink who develops a writer’s block, and his neighbor, the insurance salesman Charlie Meadows. Played masterfully by John Goodman. However, do you know that all the parts that are played by John Turturro, John Goodman, Jon Polito and Steve Buscemi were all written with them in mind?

Yes. It’s also the first film to win all three major awards at the Cannes Film Festival. The Palme D’or by a unanimous decision from the jury, then Best Director award, and Best Actor award for John Torturo too. Keep that in mind, because it took the Coen’s all but 3 weeks to complete the script. Indeed, the script for Barton Fink was a by-product of a writer’s block during the writing of a completely different movie. Miller’s Crossing. How cool is that? It just goes to show, the talent and creative genius that the Coen brothers have.


A Stephen Kind adaptation and a good one of that. I had the misfortune to watch this movie (for the first time) at night. During a storm and I won’t make that mistake again. This is a scary movie indeed. It’s about the haunted room number 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. And the mission of one cynical writer to prove that haunted rooms are just fiction. His mission will begin with a dose of cynicism and denial, but what ensues is a full on horror set in primarily one room.

Much like with Burton Fink, Tony Shalhoub has a supporting role here in 1408 as well. Additionally John Cusack is masterful in the lead role too. But speaking of John Cusack… Do you know that 1408 was his second appearance in a Stephen King film adaptation? The first was in 1986’s Stand by Me. To be honest, I love both of them, but I somehow prefer (slightly) 1408 over Stand By Me. Which one is your favorite? Tell us in the comment section.

Four Rooms

Ah, Four Rooms. The anthology movie made by 4 different directors. Yup, the entire movie takes place in the fictional Hotel Mon Signor in Los Angeles- a perfect for the theme of this post. Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez are some of the directors in Four Rooms, and boy it is a weird film. And despite the poor critical reception back then, 25 years after the release it’s considered a cult classic. Not to mention, you probably have a favorite segment of Four Rooms as well. I know I do. It’s Room 309- The Misbehavers segment.

The particularly funny part by Robert Rodriguez. Do you know that Robert Rodriguez and Antonio Banderas shot their segment one week after finishing another great movie? Yes, after the production wrap of 1995’s Desperado. And originally the movie was supposed to be called Five Rooms. Not Four Rooms. But the fifth director Richard Linklater quit the movie just before production. I highly recommend Four Rooms.

The Shining

And I’m back with more Stephen King. Because why not? The Shining takes place in the famous Overlook Hotel in the Rocky Mountains, and it fits perfectly here. But this is the movie that celebrates 40 incredible years since the release and it’s still awesome as it was in 1980. However, did you know that the infamous “Here’s Johnny!” scene took three days to film and the use of sixty doors? Yup. Kubrick was known for his perfectionism.

That’s according to Shelley Duvall of course. And during the filming Stanley Kubrick was so protective of Danny Loyd, that he thought that the cast and crew were making a drama. Not a psychological horror movie. Furthermore, Lloyd saw The Shining for the first time when he was 17, and apparently he loved it. But the shooting was grueling nonetheless. For instance, to get Jack Nicholson in the right agitated mood, he was fed only cheese sandwiches for two weeks. Which he hates apparently, but hey… They worked. So, the daily diet of sandwiches, grueling schedules and long working hours took its toll on Jack. Nicholson would often return from a day’s shooting, walk straight to the bed, collapse onto it, and would immediately fall asleep. Yes, that’s suffering for the sake of art.

Your Picks

Which movie picks would you add here? Which are some of your favorite movies that take place in hotels? Tell us in the comment section. We’d love to know all about them.

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