App Army Assemble: The Top Hat Club - "Should you tip your cap to this platformer?"

App Army Assemble: The Top Hat Club - "Should you tip your cap to this platformer?"

Having started life as a browser-based platformer, The Top Hat Club is now available for iOS. It sees you trying to gain access to the titular club by acquiring the required headwear. But it's not as simple as heading to the shops. Instead, you have to navigate tricky platforming sections to acquire that elusive top hat. We decided to hand the game over to our App Army to see if they could get access to the exclusive club.

Here's what they said:

Jojó Reis

The top hat club is a very basic puzzle game where your challenge is to take your hat to the exit of the place, but for that, you will need to collect the coins of the scenarios and do everything not to lose your hat during the challenge. The game has cool black and white graphics, gameplay works well on touch and is very simple. The game is good to pass the time and be played quickly, like waiting in some bank line.

Jason Rosner

The Top Hat Club is a retro-styled platformer that’s a remake of the original browser version. The game is centred around a character who must adhere to the strict dress code of wearing a top hat to gain entrance to the club. Sounds simple right? Not exactly. In fact, the challenges of each level are up there with some of the hardest you’ll see in the genre. While the controls work fine, the levels are designed with numerous obstacles such as bricks that fall apart upon touch, which can then prevent your movement options. This requires a certain precision and more than likely numerous restarts.

There are also coins to collect for completionists, and your hat can fall off too, which directly prevents you from finishing that stage. The monochrome graphics while simplistic, are nice to look at, and they go right along with some excellent music that takes you back to the jazz-centric clubs of the 1930’s. The tunes are super catchy which I really enjoyed. I must say that The Top Hat Club isn’t for everyone due to just how hard this platformer gets right from the start. The asking price however, along with the fact it’s a well-made game, makes it worth a look.

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Robert Maines

Top Hat Club is a cute puzzle/platformer where you must guide your little creature to an exit that it can only pass through if it is wearing a top hat. Of course, it soon gets complicated as you progress through the levels with dissolving platforms, jump pads and crates you can use to keep switches pressed down.

The graphics are simple in b/w and the sound is pretty basic as well. The levels are well-designed and get pretty fiendish very quickly. However, it’s another game where the touch controls let it down. To complete the later levels you need to be very precise when jumping between platforms and very quick as the dissolving platforms don’t come back once touched. However, the touch controls are so imprecise that it’s easy to mess up and fail a level. This quickly becomes frustrating. Thumbs down from me.

Oksana Ryan

In my opinion, this game had everything going for it and I was looking forward to playing it. It had easy-to-pick-up and play controls - tick. Although the graphics were basic, they worked with the theme of the game - tick. The sound didn’t seem to work but I rarely have repetitive music switched on anyway, so no problem. The idea of having to pick up a hat and avoid it being knocked off or falling off as you attempt to complete a level seemed intriguing, but in reality, it was a nightmare. I got as far as level 3 and died so many times that I couldn’t bear to try one more time. A shame because I really wanted to like this game.

Mike Lisagor

I played The Top Hat Club on my iPad and I had a lot of fun. I’m at level 24 and had to take a break. You will die a lot, and get frustrated with the small margin of error, but you re-spawn quickly and can get right back into it. These types of games are tough to play with touch controls, but they work okay. I do wish you could customize them, like moving them and adjusting the size. I recommend the game for fans of platformers, with a touch of puzzle thrown in, but be warned that the levels get very tricky.

Mark Abukoff

I like the style of this game. The aesthetics. The simplicity and minimalist settings and graphics. I like the music and sound effects. The controls are simple and work well. All of that had me really enthused about this game. And then on the first real level I failed and failed and failed. I tried using my backbone controller, but there’s no controller support. Not for backbone anyway. So I tried with the touchscreen again. And failed again. And again. Maybe it’s me, I’m not always the best at these hard platformers. Because this one is really a great-looking game and would be a great challenge for hardcore platformer fans. But I gave up in frustration. On the first level.

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Stephen Gregson-Wood
Stephen Gregson-Wood
Stephen brings both a love of games and a very formal-sounding journalism qualification to the Pocket Gamer team.