Hat Trick

Hat Trick
Company: Atari
Model #:
Jack Sandberg (ibid Inc.)
Year: 1988
Port of the 1984 Bally Sente coin-op


There are some games that are instant classics, and then there's Hat Trick...  While the overall concept of one-on-one hockey isn't bad, the implementation was terrible.  Hat Trick barely made a mark at the arcades before quickly disappearing.  No matter how they tried and dress it up, Hat Trick was simply an over glorified Pong machine.


Now take a decidedly average arcade game, and give it to an inexperienced software developer and let the fun commence.  What should have been a simple conversion of a simple arcade game turned into a shoddy waste of rom chips.  ibid Inc. later went on to do such other 7800 games as Karateka, Choplifter, and GATO.  Rumor has it the programmer for these games did everything using the archaic FORTH programming language.  If this rumor is true, then it could explain the rather poor quality.


So how bad is Hat Trick?  Let me count the ways...  The animation is very choppy, off hand I can't think of a 7800 with worse animation.  The gigantic players are too large for the tiny rink, resulting in goals being scored every few seconds (it's not uncommon for games to go into the double digits).  The shooting angles are off, making it hard to line up your shots correctly.  The computer AI can't even put up a decent challenge, making it easy to take advantage of him over and over again.  


While Hat Trick may not be the worst 7800 ever, it certainly puts up a good fight for the honor.  Hat Trick is better when played with two players, but best when not played at all.  Although it has its moments, the overall poor quality of the game makes it hard to really get into.  Try comparing Hat Trick to Blades of Steel on the NES which was released about the same time.  You'll quickly see why the 7800 died a swift death at the hands of the NES.


Version Cart Text Description
4/16/87   Version 1.0
5/1/87 Hat Trick 5/1/87 Mid-level WIP
1/20/88 Hat Trick 1/20 Final Version (Unencrypted)


Return to 7800 Software