Fans of indie games have another wacky and fun title to add to their wish lists, thanks to Kenny Sun’s roguelite platformer Mr. Sun’s Hatbox. Published by Raw Fury, the game has an amusing premise, an addictive gameplay loop, and tosses in a huge helping of frustration for good measure.
The player works for a package delivery service, but when attempting to give Mr. Sun his hat box, everything goes wrong. Now, the company has set up shop in its client’s basement to launch a full-scale operation to recover the stolen goods, as specified in the service’s fine print.
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A number of rooms can be built in the base of operations, each requiring varying sums of money or other milestones to unlock. There’s the very necessary and oft-used med bay, a black market for buying weapons and hats, a research lab to unlock upgrades, a brig for brainwashing captives, and everything else a hat recovery detail might need.
Anybody who’s played Landon Podbielski’s Duck Game will immediately recognize its influence on Mr. Sun’s Hatbox. The mission gameplay and ensuing chaos are very similar, as are many of the items used to complete those missions. With a variety of weapons to choose from — including the usual pistol and shotgun but also more silly things like a bar of soap or a baguette — players can take out opponents or attempt to sneak their way through a level. Even the bodies of vanquished enemies can be tossed around to take people down if there’s nothing else available.
Players can also equip team members with hats that, even more than the weapons, add to the goofiness of Mr. Sun’s Hatbox. The selection ranges from a standard hard hat to a dynamite headband, a treadmill, or the requisite pile of poo, each with varying utility and sometimes unforeseen downsides. The turret hat, for example, begins firing as soon as an enemy is within range, which might be helpful but can also…