Hard Hat Mack

Moby ID: 577
Apple II Specs

Description official descriptions

Hard Hat Mack is a platform game similar in concept to Donkey Kong. The player controls a worker who must complete specific objectives in a construction site while avoiding enemies and trying not to run out of time. The game has three vertical levels consisting of simple paths, springboards, conveyor belts, and elevators. The goals involve replacing holes in the floor, catching a moving jackhammer to secure plates, collecting lunchboxes, and dropping wares into a processor. The titular hero loses a life when hit by falling bolts or tagged by wandering vandals or OSHA representatives. The game is over after the player character loses three lives. Completing the three unique levels brings the player back to the beginning, with the game cycling through the same levels at a faster speed.

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Credits (Apple II version)

6 People

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 68% (based on 11 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 44 ratings with 4 reviews)

A good game for us nostalgic gamers.

The Good
Ah, I like this game... been so long since I played it I can barely remember anything about it, but I like it none-the-less. It's definitely a good game. Has decent graphics for CGA, good controls and excellent gameplay, and is generally a fun game indeed.

The Bad
What's truly lacking with this game is sound effects, music, anything - it's simply too bloody quiet.

The Bottom Line
A classic for any old game lover.

PC Booter · by Tomer Gabel (4536) · 1999

Donkey Kong is Over Rated

The Good
If you like the orignial Donkey Kong, you'll like Hard Hat Mack more. Game play is similar but Hard Hat is a lot more fun.

The Bad
Nothing.

The Bottom Line
This type of arcade game ain't so popular anymore, but Hard Hat is definitely a classic.

PC Booter · by Yeah Right (50) · 2000

Fun, But Tough

The Good
Hard Hat Mack is fun, albeit not too original, take on classic Donkey Kong format.

As the title's blue collar character you have to successfully complete three, fast paced construction-themed levels while avoiding various obstacles. The three levels are well constructed and amazingly fast paced.

The difficult levels progresses so that only a seasoned gamer is likely going to complete all three levels, much less survive too long when the game repeats, with increased difficulty.

The Bad
Game play mechanics, while simple, oftentimes can become painfully frustrating. Oftentimes you have to make very precise jumps in the game, or else die.

The primary reason this can be insanely frustrating is the simple fact that (in the 1980s) computer game joysticks were simply not made like home console joysticks.

Fast paced, action platformers were common in the arcades and the home console systems, but (in the 1980s) the big market for computer games was largely focused on graphic adventure games, role playing games, educational software, strategy/simulation games.

In the 1990s, the marketed for computer games became much more similar to the home console video game market and better computer joysticks came around.

Yet, in the 1980s the control problems with computer games like Hard Hat Mack were not that uncommon and were difficult to actually fix.

Lastly, the game also features an OSHA representative as rather annoying villain.

For those of you that do not know, OSHA handles much of the health/safety regulations within the American workplace. I am not going to say that it's perfect, but it certainly does a lot of very good and very important work.

The game's depiction generated some press back in the day because it might have meant that the programmers or publisher of the game were anti-worker.

I am not sure if a right-wing political message was intended or not, but it was rather strange to have a OSHA agents working with vandals.

The Bottom Line
Hard Hat Mack is a fast paced and fun, early 1980s Apple II, platforming game with obvious Donkey Kong (or Burger Time) influences.

If you can get a handle on the controls, then most folks will probably be able to complete the first two levels with some practice. Leaving the third level and beyond for the more seasoned gamer.

Apple II · by ETJB (428) · 2012

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Controversy

One of the villains in the game is a OSHA agent. OSHA enforces Federal Health and Safety rights within the workplace and at least one California State Senator publicly accused the game of being anti-worker for depicting OSHA agents as villains, which prompted some retail stores to pull the game from their shelves.

Cover art

The front cover illustration, like most of the first Electronic Arts games, has the EA logo (not so) hidden in the photo. But it also appears more cleverly in the inside photo of the two developers; look for it as part of the falling lunchbox.

CGA Composite patch

The PC Booter version of the game only supports CGA 4-color graphics, but in 2012 an amateur patch was released which allowed the game to use the CGA Composite 16-color mode. The patch can be found here.

Title

One of the four large meeting rooms on the first floor of the "Mission Control" building of Electronic Arts Redwood City, CA campus is named Hard Hat Mack. The four meeting rooms are named after EA's first four games.

Information also contributed by Trixter

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

Apple II added by Droog. Commodore 64 added by tbuteler. Amstrad CPC added by Kabushi. Atari 8-bit added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: nullnullnull, Neville, ETJB, Patrick Bregger.

Game added December 16, 1999. Last modified August 17, 2023.