This is one of those indies where I can appreciate what they were setting out to do but the final implementation just doesn’t quite deliver the experience they’d aimed for. In several areas feeling very inspired by a classic platformer that will not be named, the bones of the design may be derivative but they’re at least familiar. One issue with choosing an inspiration so iconic though is that it has a tendency to get people to up their expectations for the overall experience, and though Jack ‘N’ Hat at least tries to innovate some to spice things up, there’s no mistaking that the pacing and general controls simply come up short. There’s a sluggishness and bit of imprecision to the controls, and while you can get used to them on some level they never really click in as great. In addition, some of the more interesting abilities you acquire take some time to get to, so while they do present more compelling late-game challenges the road to get there is, by comparison, more bland and unsatisfying. If you have the patience to get to “the good stuff” this isn’t a bad budget platformer overall, but there are enough missteps that it’s tougher to recommend with enthusiasm.
Justin Nation, Score: