Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore a Fedora is an adventure platformer which was released on the 20th February 2015 by indie developer and publisher Glass Bottom Games. I was actually lucky enough to get an interview with the designer Megan Fox and you can check that out here.
So before I move onto my thoughts on the game I’ll very quickly sum it up, you play as Emma Jones and Franky. Emma is a former firefighter who is now a private detective and Franky is her partner and also a cat. They work together navigating the city in an attempt to solve a murder. If that doesn’t sound worth checking out then maybe the rest of the review will convince you, but serious noir private detective kitty cat and his human partner solving crimes…doesn’t that sound amazing!
As I suggested above, I am in love with the theme and aesthetic of this game, noir is my jam and this has fun with that familiar style. It’s fun and charming in a way that more games need to be and even though it can be silly, its gripping nonetheless.
Okay I want to touch on the revolver, and I promise I’ll be careful…dumb joke aside. The revolver is your adaptable weapon/tool which allows you to literally shoot all your problems away. I did not realise until I played this game how appealing that is…in a game context. You get to find the correct bullets and fire them to solve puzzles. Personally I thought it was innovative and fun and it was always good to get a new bullet and work out how best to use it. In fact it reminds me a lot of the quarks in another game I reviewed recently called Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark which you should also check out.
I also need to give a quick shout out to the music/soundtrack which you can purchase along with the game, and it adds a lot to the atmosphere of the game. It really fits with the game, but can easily be enjoyed on it’s own.
I enjoyed the writing, it felt appropriate for the settings entertaining and it was funny. It can be hard to create an engaging story particular when with branching conversational paths, players can waste a lot of time talking with people. I mean I know I tend to talk with NPC’s until I’ve exhausted all conversations but even if you do that you don’t feel like you have wasted time, you enjoy talking with everyone and experiencing everything and I feel that is the mark of strong writing.
I enjoyed the maze like layout of the game, it added a layer of complexity to the gameplay that made it challenging although I can easily understand and appreciate that this coupled with the lack of a core map could be frustrating so if that sounds bad then this might not be the game for you although I do suggest you still give it a shot.
Speaking of the whole maze thing, at least tangentially, I really enjoyed the 3D scrolling mechanic, it made the world feel wider, even despite any potential limitations and frankly it’s not something I’m used to seeing so it just felt fresh and innovative. It also at least to me made it feel like pages turning in a book, which got the old pavlovian nostalgia feels going.
My only real complaint is that it can be a little rough at times and you can get stuck easily being forced to backtrack but that might just be my limitations as a gamer as much as any issues with the game. But other than very minor issues, at least for me this is a strong title from an indie studio, which captures the noir atmosphere and blends it with cheesiness, anthropomorphic animals and engaging writing for a game that four years or so on I’m still up for playing. Speaking of which, if you want to grab yourself a copy then head on over to Steam where you can purchase the game for £10.99/$13.67. You can also pick up the deluxe edition which includes the awesome soundtracks and the prequel game ‘Jones on Fire’ for the excellent price of £18.99/$23.61.
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