Have You Played… Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore A Fedora?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

How many games have made you laugh? Not a grin but a laugh. It doesn’t have to be an uncontrollable bark – a gentle chuckle is fine – but I bet you can’t think of all that many. Hot Tin Roof [official site] delighted me and made me laugh so many times.

Hot Tin Roof has plenty of jokes, with proper punchlines and everything, but it’s the worldbuilding that consistently tickled my funnybone. It’s the way that the idea of noir + cats isn’t treated as inherently silly, or the way that the cats have an entire urban culture running parallel to that of the humans. It’s the way the gun is a tool of logic and deduction rather than violence.

And what’s most surprising is that Hot Tin Roof actually tells its story with a straight face, deadpanning all the way to the ending. It’s a proper mystery, intrigued by the intricacies of the crime genre rather than resorting to the pie-hurling surrealist parody of a Jazzpunk or Airplane!

Sometimes it’s good to see a pie striking its target right between the eyes. Sometimes it’s good to see humour stitched directly into the fabric of a thing. Hot Tin Roof is for those times.

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15 Comments

  1. zxcasdqwecat says:

    Haven’t played but I want now.

  2. lokimotive says:

    This is such a charming game. I funded it through Kickstarter and I was very pleased with the whole endeavor. It’s not a perfect game by any means, there’s an odd difficulty curve for the platforming and the story mechanics could’ve used a bit more polish. Most of the stuff seems to be because of a lack of playtesting; my guess is the money ran out.

    But man, it’s got heart. I recommend it with the caveat that it’s a bit rough around the edges and probably over ambitious, but if you realize that going in you’ll probably enjoy it a lot.

    • Premium User Badge

      caff says:

      I agree with this. Also a Kickstarter backer. Very handcrafted and loveable.

    • glassbottommeg says:

      (Hi, I’m the lead dev on this)

      Yep, more or less right. We had a major family tragedy that ate some serious time, and generally bit off more than we should have. We’re basically happy with how it came together, but it’s one of those “if we’d had 6 more months…” situations.

      • glassbottommeg says:

        Not to be negative, though: it did basically “alright” for us, and I’m super happy with how the writing and world came together. It also led to some stuff that means our next project shouldn’t be as pinched budget-wise. The characters, world, humor, etc get to live on in our next project, too. :D

  3. Premium User Badge

    alison says:

    This one’s 34% off at Steam this weekend. I saw it come up on Friday and decided to wait since i’ve been adventuring pretty hard the past two weeks with Tales from Monkey Island, The Silent Age, Deponia and Space Pilgrim, but you just sold it. Nice timing.

    • Premium User Badge

      alison says:

      Well, that landed with a resounding thud. This is most definitely not an adventure game. It’s some kind of infuriating platform game. The world is great, the dialog is funny, and the first half hour will suck you in as you start to investigate a adorably noir case… and then you will fall down a hole, and take an hour to climb back out of it, and then fall down it again, and then get killed, and then realize you are forced to climb down that hole twenty more times so you can collect enough coins to unlock a special gun you need to open a door that’s blocking your way. Back at the bottom of the hole. SO not what I expected from the reviews.

  4. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    Monkey Island, Jazzpunk (many times), Dark Souls and Space Giraffe. Yeah, that’s probably it. This sounds great, never heard of it til now.

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  6. Rufust Firefly says:

    Also one of the best save-game systems of all time!

  7. draglikepull says:

    I saw this game when it was on Kickstarter, meant to buy it once it was released as long as it turned out well, and then totally forgot about it. So thanks for reminding me to look it up again.

  8. Swordfishtrombone says:

    I think one of the funniest moments I can recall in a game was the ‘Horn of the Manatee: Travel Edition’ that you have to use in one of the recent episodic Monkey Island games. Had to actually stop playing due to tears. I’m not even sure why I found it so funny; I think it was just the premise. Also a lot of moments or dialogue in The Witcher 3 made me actually laugh out loud e.g. Dandelion trying to impress a woman by “bravely” fighting off Geralt disguised as a robber.

  9. yobokkie says:

    I remember reading the article on this site about how there were no real mystery games outside of point and click type games and I honestly think this game demonstrates how a mystery game could be handled differently. The path isn’t fixed and you don’t need all the pieces to reach a conclusion, which subsequently brings various different endings. I would love to see the idea expanded even more, with an open metroidvania world like this and multiple cases to take on. I think hot tin roof was needfully heavy handed at times with the hints as to what comes next as there was a distinct story to tell, but I’d love a game where you are simply left to find the mysteries and solve them using similar mechanics to this. Then you get to the end of the game and realize there were still so many things you missed on your journey.

    • Premium User Badge

      alison says:

      I wish i had read your comment before buying the game, because i was expecting an adventure, not a platform game. That said, if you are looking for an “open world” platform game where you solve a mystery mostly using dialog, i would recommend Dex. There are way less infuriating jumping puzzles than there are in this game, so it might not scratch your Mario itch, but it definitely felt like a unique spin on presenting an adventure story with arcade-style mechanics.

      • yobokkie says:

        I actually bought Dex on the random steam sale at the end of January. It did look like the sort of thing I’d be interested in. Glad to hear it’s worth a play. Up the backlog list it goes.