Hard Hat Mack

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Hard Hat Mack
The game's logo from the title screen
Developer(s) Michael Abbot and Matthew Alexander
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Designer(s) Michael Abbot and Matthew Alexander
Platform(s) Apple II, Amstrad CPC
Atari 8-bit
Commodore 64, Coleco Adam, DOS
Release date(s) 1983
Genre(s) Platform game
Mode(s) Single player

Hard Hat Mack is a 1983 Apple II game developed by Michael Abbot and Matthew Alexander. It was the first game published by Electronic Arts.[1] It was later ported to the Amstrad CPC, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, Coleco Adam and as a PC booter.


Hard Hat Mack was similar to Nintendo's remarkably successful Donkey Kong game of the previous year, with more gameplay variety and faster action. The player guides a construction worker through a series of goals, making use of open paths, springboards, conveyor belts, and elevators, taking care not to run out of time. Assuming the role of the titular Hard Hat Mack, the player has three lives.

Level One (building framework). The goal is to replace four holes in the floor, and capture a moving jackhammer to secure the plates. At the same time, the player must avoid getting hit by bolts thrown from above, being tagged by a vandal and OSHA representative who circulate through the building, and falling off the edge of the building.

Level Two (construction site). The player guides Hard Hat Mack through a four-level construction site with the goal of collecting five lunchboxes. An OSHA representative blocks the final hurdle, requiring a carefully timed jump.

Level Three (factory). The player collects five boxes and drops each one into a processor. An OSHA representative moves back and forth near one of the boxes, requiring a very careful jump.

At the completion of a round, the game cycles anew with faster gameplay.


Computer Gaming World's reviewer called Hard Hat Mack "a brand new concept in arcade action", stating that he was unaware of another set in the construction industry.[2] PC Magazine gave Hard Hat Mack 10.5 points out of 18. It described the game as "computer game pop art—flashy to the eye, but hollow inside. For all of its nice touches, I quickly became bored."[3]

In late 1983, California state senator Dan McCorquodale, offended by portrayal of OSHA as a villain in the game, sent a complaint letter to an Emporium-Capwell store in Santa Clara, California, accusing the game of being "anti-worker" and of skewing the public perception of the federal government. As a result, six days later the store pulled Hard Hat Mack from the shelves.[4][5]


  1. ^ 30th Anniversary of Our First Games Shipped - EA News
  2. ^ Long, David (April 1984). "Hard Hat Mack". Computer Gaming World (review). pp. 45–46. 
  3. ^ Sandler, Corey (1984-08-07). "Hard Hats and Bows". PC Magazine. p. 277. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Mace, Scott (1983-12-05). "Electronic Antics". InfoWorld 5 (49): 111. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 
  5. ^ Holmstrom, John, ed. (April 1984). "Hard Hat Mack Attack". K-Power 1 (3): 12. Retrieved 2012-05-25. 

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