Fun but tough building site thrills
Bearing more than a passing resemblance to the likes of arcade classics Donkey Kong and Miner 2049er, Hard Hat Mack is actually a clever and inventive little platformer that is maddeningly addictive thanks to its combination of well designed levels and high level of challenge. If you're unfamiliar with Donkey Kong or its ilk, this is basically a one screen platform adventure where you must achieve a certain objective before moving on to the next level. Here, as you might expect, the game is set around a construction yard where the player controls the titular builder through a series of complex levels which are made up of conveyors, spring boards, lifts and suchlike. The goals vary according to the level and for example require Mack to fill in a series of gaps in the platforms, grabbing a roving jackhammer, collecting lunchboxes and dropping things into a processor. Of course, complicating matters are the rogue safety inspectors and vandals and falling bolts, contact with which will cause the loss of a life. That's pretty much it to the game and although it might not sound like much, Hard Hat Mack is addictive stuff if you're into your old-school platform thrills. The levels are simply but effectively designed, with a neat variety of obstacles and challenges to face and its this variety which is perhaps the game's strongest point as each level is distinct from the last. The only real problem is that there are just three levels to complete and while they are pretty difficult, even a moderately determined player will inevitably complete them after just a short while, rendering the game somewhat lacking in the long term. While it lasts though, Hard Hat Mack is fun stuff.