Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pursuit of Hat

Ever wondered what it would be like to rip your limbs off... and then be able to put them back on, easy as you please? And perhaps even use this unique - and rather grotesque - ability to solve puzzles? No? Well, play Pursuit of Hat anyway, 'cause that's exactly what happens.


The title of the game kinda gives away the story, but for those who can't catch a hint, Pursuit of Hat is about this blobby little guy:

Who is on a crusade to retrieve this:

And, for some reason, the universe just won't let him have it. Won't stop him from trying, though - and he's willing to constantly dismember himself (in the cutest way possible, of course) to solve the challenges between himself and his beloved bowler. In summary, this is a puzzle game.

What makes Pursuit of Hat truly unique, however, is the use of body parts. Your little dude can rip his arms, legs and even body away from his head and toss them onto switches or platforms, and each time he does he becomes a little less... capable. Makes perfect sense, overall, and greatly increases the difficulty of the levels - which is exactly what most puzzle lovers are gonna want.

Yep, you get to roll around as a head. Good times.


Unlike some other puzzlers, the controls of Pursuit of Hat are of paramount importance to solving each level, because timing is often as much a factor as deep thinking. And, fortunately, the controls are generally spot-on, if a little limited (which is the point).

Up, jump. Jump against a cliff, pull yourself up automatically. Down and space, rip off a piece of your guy's body. Down, pick up a piece. That's all there is. These latter two occasionally prove annoying, as you'll often inadvertently pick up a piece of body you've tossed away to solve a puzzle, but this is a minor flaw. The controls are, overall, easy to learn and use.


Pursuit of Hat is a clean, cartoony title with pleasingly soft graphics. Anybody can appreciate this game's simple aesthetic, as it's just stylized enough to amuse. A little variety in the levels might have been nice, but you'll be too busy trying to solve puzzles to care much about the looks of your surroundings.


The score on Pursuit of Hat is pretty good for a browser game, with a selection of three songs - cycled between attempts - all of which are big band fare. I'm a sucker for horns, so I appreciated Pursuit of Hat's soundtrack despite the limited number of tunes.

Challenge Rating

Ahh, here's the important part: how difficult is Pursuit of Hat? Short answer, very. There are some devilishly tricky puzzles, and, as mentioned, you often have to time your attempts carefully to be successful. You also have a lot of different elements to work with - switches, tubes, cannons, moving platforms - that all contribute, in some way, to the overall puzzle. The resulting combinations are clever, and should please any puzzle lover.

The only real fault when it comes to challenge in Pursuit of Hat is that the game ends at 20 levels. I want more. (A level editor would be fantastic.)


Pursuit of Hat is one of those rare browser games that leaves me almost entirely pleased - especially rare since I get easily irritated at puzzles. And true, you too will probably swear a few times while constantly resetting your game, but defeating a stumper feels so damn rewarding... even if the guy never REALLY gets his hat back.


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