About the game
I'm Tod Powers, the developer of Hazmat Hijinks. It took me over 14 months of full time work to create this game.
It may remind you of the old Windows game Chip's Challenge. While I do have fond memories of playing Chip's Challenge as a kid, my goal never was to copy it. I started with the idea of basing a game on hazmat suits. I thought that different colored suits matching up with different toxic hazards would be a pretty good mechanism. I explored many different styles for the game, but decided that a top-down tile-based idiom would best encapsulate the idea.
I like to say that the game is like Chip's Challenge plus Mario 3 and Mario World. Those are my main stylistic inspirations, as well as other games I played as a kid. But it's fair to say that my game isn't like anything else, either. I worked very hard to create original levels and ideas.
Hazmat Hijinks takes about four hours from start to finish, if you don't make any mistakes. Not that quantity is importnat, but I wanted to have a length comparable to Mario 3 or Mario World so that it would feel like a full, complete game. Well, I believe I exceeded that! It will probably take you much longer though.
The game is carefully and meticulously crafted. It's unusual and exciting and innovative, and it all comes together beautifully in the end.
Why doesn't Hazmat Hijinks have instructions?
Thinking and figuring things out is fun. If I told you what to do, there would be no game. I intended the game to be self-teaching. The levels are designed so that they focus on one or two core ideas, and there is a logical progression from one level to the next. Each level builds on the last. Best of all, once you learn something, you don't have to keep repeating it tediously, like in some games. I just keep introducing new ideas and situations.
To make it easier for players, I created several levels of difficulty from which you can choose:
Easy: Take the easier pathway through each world. You'll skip 2/3 of the goals and still be able to complete the game.
Medium: Also finish every level in each of the 4 regular worlds.
Hard: Also finish every level in the secret world.
Difficult: Also find the 32 golden barrels and 4 secret exits.
How are the warehouses and factories different from other levels?
Most levels are meant to induce the player to think creatively and have a certain insight. For more variety, the warehouses are intentionally tricky and the factories are more action-oriented.
What do the blue dots on completed levels mean?
I'm hoping that people will figure this out on their own, but I'll tell you that it relates to whether there is a secret in the level, and whether it has been discovered.
I'm having trouble! Can I get a hint?
If you look on my videos page, you'll see that there is a long play of the entire game. If you can't figure something out, just consult the video to see how to do something. This way I don't have to dumb down the game or provide hints.
However, I do provide hints of a kind, now and then. And the world maps are structured in such a way that you might get stuck on something, then play ahead on a different path, and discover the answer to what you were stuck on.
Are there a lot of secrets and easter eggs in the game?
Absolutely! Beyond the 32 hidden golden barrels, you'll find several obscure references to Stanley Kubrick, as well as other stuff I can't talk about yet.
Will there be a Windows version?
Yes! I'm working hard on this. You can sign up to be notified when it's available.
Will other languages be supported?
Yes! I've paid for professional translations to Czech, Danish, Dutch, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. For a variety of reasons, you'll have to wait until mid to late June before that update is available. I hope to add more languages soon.
Why did you use the same font from Chip's Challenge 2?
My use of Chicago and Geneva is actually a tribute to the Mac. When I made my choices, I didn't know that Chip's Challange 2 even existed, let alone that it used Chicago.
I read the book Insanely Great when I was 12 and was very inspired by Steve Jobs. This is before he went back to Apple. Over the years, I've owned dozens of classic Macs, several original Macs, a NeXTstation, and of course lots of modern Macs.