Hotel Transylvania Adventures

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Hotel Transylvania Adventures App Poster Image
Fun, spooky action game haunted by constant ads.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Platform-jumping gameplay requires good timing and coordination, but isn't too punishing. 

Violence & Scariness

Heroes can "die" by making contact with monsters or by falling into acid. Heroes flash and vanish without any bloody or graphic effects. 

Sexy Stuff

Ads are near-constant and not optional. Players are forced to watch them after completing every level, unless they pay $1.99 to remove them. An energy system also forces players to pay for energy boosts if they want to get around the time-metered system. Based off of the Hotel Transylvania film franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hotel Transylvania Adventures is a freemium single-player action adventure app for iOS and Android devices. The game is based on Sony Pictures' hit animated Hotel Transylvania series. Non-optional ads flood the app, unless players pay $1.99 to remove them. Its built-in energy system encourages kids to spend money on energy refills in the in-app store, as well as on alternate heroes and other in-app currency. While characters will sometimes run into monsters or fall into acid, they disappear without any blood or gore shown. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA ADVENTURES is a free-to-play single player adventure that lets you visit the spooky-fun Hotel Transylvania from the movie series of the same name. Your goal is to renovate the Hotel Transylvania from top to bottom, and you do that by collecting gems and gold. Starting with spunky vampire girl Mavis, you run, jump, and dodge your way through a collection of haunting locations gathering coins, shrunken heads, and missing wolf pups. The more you gather, the more fun levels, custom furniture, and paint options you unlock. Simple tap controls are put to the test in increasingly challenging levels filled with moving platforms, dangerous monsters, and deadly pools of acid. Additional hero characters can be unlocked with real-world cash or by watching ads.

Is it any good?

In a Disney/Pixar dominated world, Sony's Hotel Transylvania's a bit of a dark horse, (pun intended) and this clever little app offers as much surprising fun as its cinematic namesake. Its simple premise—running and jumping a cartoon character around monster-ridden, maze-like levels is by no means new. Still, its smart, streamlined approach makes it a winner. 

The charm of Hotel Transylvania is the first reason the app succeeds. Its setting allows for fun, creative environments filled with eerie details. Add to that a chirpy, Munsters-ish soundtrack and Mavis (Count Dracula's upbeat daughter) as the heroine, and you've got a very strong start. The second reason the app works is its simple two-finger tap controls. Movement -- both horizontal and vertical -- is precise thanks to left/right movement arrows (as opposed to a virtual thumbstick) and a sensitive jump button. These minimize the frustration, and make gameplay smooth and fun. Though the app uses the “energy pool” approach, (where each level costs energy to play) it's fairly forgiving if you're willing to watch ads. Which brings up the one bothersome issue of Hotel Transylvania Adventures. Freemium apps insert optional ads players can watch in exchange for items or extended gameplay; that's fine, but Hotel Transylvania Adventures takes it a step too far. Unless you pay $1.99 to remove them, ads pop up both after every level and whenever you fail mid-level and want to continue. It's simply too much. Then again, $1.99 might not be much to ask for this kind of quality, family-friendly entertainment, especially if you and your kids are looking to spend some time in your favorite spooky hotel.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the benefit of paid games versus freemium games. Is it cheaper to pay for a game up front, or little by little with micro-transactions?

  • Aside from giving fans entertainment, what purpose do movie video game or app tie-ins serve apart from promoting films? 

  • Does playing a movie-based game make you want to see the movie? 

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love cartoon platformers

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