Yet another one of those eastasiasoft games that takes a simple premise and turns it into something addictive. Hatup is about collecting a hat and reaching a door. There’s no reason or rhyme, no plot and no time limit, only 30 levels and a rudimentary lives system. As you’ll learn in this Hatup review, it’s an incredibly simple affair. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth entertaining.
As stated above, the game is designed around a simple principle: grab a hat and reach the exit. To begin with it really is as straightforward as that. Soon however, grabbing the hat will make certain blocks appear/disappear. Then, soon after that, you’ll need to grab a key to unlock certain pathways. Eventually, Hatup begins to throw all of these (and more, of course) challenges into the mix at once. You’ll need to get the hat, lose the hat, get the key, get the hat again… it’s easy to see how this develops.
The challenge on offer then, is one that accelerates quickly. By the time you reach the 10th level you’ll find platforming challenges that demand pixel-perfect jumping arcs. Perhaps think Super Meat Boy but without the momentum challenges. Everything in Hatup takes place on a single screen, or multiple screens with checkpoints and slow scrolling. There’s always plenty of opportunity to take a moment’s breath before facing the next challenge.
Soon you’ll be bounding left-to-right, back to the left, rightwards once again, and then curling around for a second tier of jumping challenges. Hatup‘s complexity only ever grows in obvious ways, but the challenges it sets within that ruleset are more than the sum of its parts. The visual design, too, relays its simplicity while affronting the challenge that is on offer here. It’s intense, frustrating and rewarding. A series of basic flat shapes and single-tone colours doesn’t really put that message across.
This Hatup review has explained the challenge that is on offer here. If you’re looking for some simple, challenging platform fun you could do far worse. However, there’s no denying that it’s a far cry from New Super Mario Bros. Deluxe or it’s contemporaries. Given that the game only includes 30 levels, it’s not likely to take you more than an evening to get through. So an evening of challenging, frustrating and rewarding gameplay, then? If that’s not what you’re looking for with your five bucks, go elsewhere.