Exidy's 1982 Hard Hat

Hard Hat may appear to be a simple maze game, but it's not. As you walk through the maze, you break through support posts. Some posts cannot be broken through, and have to be navigated around. If you break through all of the posts along any of the outer walls of the maze, the entire maze shifts over, revealing new sections of it.

The goal of the game is to move letters into outlines in the center of the maze, spelling out words. Doing so successfully moves you to the next level. There are two ways to move the letters - the easiest is to push them, but the unbreakable posts will often prevent that. The other way is to move the entire playfield around by knocking out the posts along the outer walls. When the maze shifts over, any letters that haven't been put into their outlines shift over too.

Getting in your way are hammers that bounce around the maze, and a tornado which can kill you and throw the letters around that you've been trying to maneuver into position. Pesky thing.

Missing Ingredient

More appealing characters. The gameplay is very addictive, and the music is okay, but the graphics are pretty terrible - even for 1982. Consider that Pac-Man and Donkey Kong had been out for some time already, and Dig Dug, Mr. Do, Q*Bert and even Tron came out the same year as Hard Hat. Exidy simply didn't have the graphics necessary to compete with the likes of those games.

Thanks to Jeffrey Carl at ServInt for providing the space for CinemArcade


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