I’ll keep this brief.
Hatsworth suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. With its mix of action platformer and Planet Puzzle League game play — and lighthearted “tea and monocle” aesthetics — it aims to draw in the more casual crowd; yet halfway through the game the difficulty ramps up so much that I doubt the intended audience would have the patience to get even as far as I did. It doesn’t help that the game also contains some of the many game play elements that continually get my ire up, such as:
- Checkpoints only at the start of a level section, so have fun playing the last 5+ minutes again if you happen to die right next to the exit.
- “Upgrades” that merely keep you on even footing with the enemies, rather than giving you any apparent advantage against them.
- Enemies that take too many hits to kill later in the game, without posing an equal amount of challenge to warrant such a high amount of health.
- Bosses with too many “Gotcha” attacks and more phases than necessary.
- and finally, Artificial challenge: the amount of Special Power you get from clearing puzzle blocks is significantly reduced during boss fights without explanation.
I have to admit that I was sour towards this game before even playing it, due to a rumor I had heard from the ListenUP podcast and a few other places. Supposedly, the second half of the game was not put through the normal play-testing regime so they could release it sooner. I’m not sure how true that is, but after experiencing the overly long levels and numerous unbalanced fights I can at least say the game should have been given a few more passes in the testing department.
So if you like games that are hard or just slightly broken, give it a look. If you’re a more sensible person however, stay away from Hatsworth. You aren’t missing much.