Chapeau is quite possibly one of the most bizarre multiplayer games we’ve played in a good while. Pitting up to four opponents against one another, you take control of a sentient hat, with the aim of the game being to ‘tag’ as many humans as possible by leaping onto their heads. It’s a chaotic game that takes a bit of getting used to, and even when you’ve mastered its clunky controls, the game modes simply aren’t compelling enough to keep you invested.
There are three main modes that make up Chapeau’s multiplayer component. First up is 'Where Is Wilhelm', which tasks you with finding a specific character within the level and tagging him/her. Doing so will grant you with coins that continue to build as to tag more targets. Next is 'Color Craze', in which each team (which can be made up of 2v2, or free-for-all) is designated a specific colour. You then need to tag as many humans as possible with that colour within the timeframe. Finally, 'The Floor is Lava' will no doubt be a favourite with youngsters, in which you need to tag as many humans as possible while the entire level slowly fills with deadly lava.
Controlling your hat is a bit of a chore at first, and we’d probably recommend giving the tutorial a go before diving into some proper matches. You can leap around with ZR, and dash forwards with ZL, with additional moves such as backflips and ground pounds to assist in your movement. When you aim towards an NPC’s head, a reticle will lock onto it, which will then allow you to dash directly towards it. You can chain together a whole bunch of humans this way, and it’s probably the best method to rack up some points quickly, but keep in mind that other players can also bash you out of the way if their aim is up to scratch.
Aside from the main multiplayer mode, there is a set of challenges which, if you’re new to the game, will prove themselves to be exceedingly difficult at first. They’re mainly just variations of the three main modes; as you work through them, you’ll earn in-game ‘achievements’, and also go on to unlock further hats and levels to explore. That’s really all there is to Chapeau. Obviously, we’d encourage you to play with friends where possible, but you can also add bots if this is needed.
In terms of its presentation, Chapeau is a bit of a mixed bag. The overall art style is nice, and the human characters are stylish, yet there’s not a great deal to distinguish them from one another. Additionally, the environments are pretty bland, with block colours and minimal textures. On the flip side though, the music is great, and the main menu theme is one of the catchiest tunes we’ve heard in a good while. It certainly feels like it’s geared more towards youngsters, and we’re certain they’ll get a kick out of it for a little while, but unfortunately for the rest of us, these hats are just a bit too frayed to recommend.