Retro 2D platformers are always fun to dive into and Jack 'n' Hat is one that's as cute as it is fun so get ready for cap-tossing good times.
When I watched the trailer for Jack 'n' Hat, it immediately made me want to play it with its bright visuals, cute enemies, and fun-looking platforming and now that I have, I'm pretty happy that I gave it a go. You play as the titular Jack who's on a quest to rescue the Princess of Ririland from Dr. Voo Doom but he's merely a repairman so does he have what it takes to accomplish his mission? Well, he does have a cool hat invented by Dr. Expo Zicion that he can throw in order to damage enemies and break blocks so that's a good start! 🧢 v1d30chumz 34-231-247-88
As you can probably guess, Jack 'n' Hat is a simple game that should be instinctual to play for anyone who has ever enjoyed a 2D platformer as all you do is run and jump around while tossing your boomerang-like hat. Throughout the campaign, you'll acquire extra abilities such as a slide that you can utilize to jump further so the gameplay definitely becomes more well-rounded as you complete worlds and defeat their respective bosses. As you do so, you'll be treated with a delightful NES-era soundtrack and satisfying effects, too.
Not only is the audio exceptionally well-done, I also love Jack 'n' Hat's visuals which are bright and detailed. For starters, Jack is very well animated as you platform and fling your hat and his foes range from goofy baddies to cute little critters which are animated just as well. In fact, I loved jumping on their heads only to watch them get dazed then fly off the screen after I threw my hat at them.
Although Jack 'n' Hat is simple to control, it's one impressively challenging game. Most of the time, the difficulty is just right which makes completing levels rewarding. However, there are some platforming portions that are absurdly difficult and would be a better fit for some kind of super-tough bonus stage as opposed to segments that you're forced to overcome. For example, one part has a moving platform above spikes and walls that you have to slide underneath with perfect timing so you don't end up getting snagged. It's brutal and on top of that, there are moments when enemies will surprise you that can be quite annoying, too, so you really have to tread carefully and constantly look before you leap. Oh, and the boss fights are pretty frustrating with their large health bars and relentless attacks.
If you're a completionist then you'll be rather pleased with the amount of challenges to complete in each level of Jack 'n' Hat's campaign. I found the most difficult feat to be collecting letters to spell JACK because they're exceptionally well-hidden a lot of the time. Meanwhile, you can also destroy a certain number of crates for a gem like in Crash Bandicoot and there's also an obvious crystal to snag, too.
If you enjoy classic challenging 2D platformers then you'll certainly have fun with Jack 'n' Hat. Even though some parts will make you want to rip your hair out, completing the levels in their entirety is a rewarding task for anyone who relishes difficult platforming.
- + Solid and simple 2D platforming that gets impressively challenging
- + Adorable graphics with well-animated sprites
- + Decent amount of replay value
- - Some platforming segments are downright maddening
- - Boss fights aren't all that fun
- - Unexpected snags can be annoying