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Hot Tin Roof combines Metroid and L.A. Noire with Inspector Gadget

Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore a Fedora is a mash-up of many ideas. Half adventure game, half platformer, it's a visually striking title with a Minecraftian aesthetic.

The detective-style game entangles players in several mysterious cases. But the real intrigue is found in Hot Tin Roof's unlikely inspirations — a mixture that resulted in a title Glass Bottom Games founder Megan Fox calls a cross between Metroid, L.A. Noire and Inspector Gadget.

Private investigator Emma Jones and her fedora-wearing feline side-kick, Franky, return from Glass Bottom Games' action title Jones on Fire. Once a firefighter, Jones is now searching for clues to thefts and murders. She's armed with a revolver that players use to solve puzzles, rather than take down bad guys. As players progress, they'll get different combinable bullets, such as gum or grapple rounds.

"It's our Metroid-style upgrade pack and it's how we get content and let you explore," Fox said.

Players manually empty and reload their gun, which Fox calls a meditative process intended to get players thinking about their next step. During our demo of the game, we worked our way through an underground lair filled with talking rats and trash. Escaping was a task that required us to explore several rooms. Grappling rounds, which pull you toward the area you shoot, were a helpful way to reach high places. Other areas required us to nimbly hop across platforms. The game doesn't involve immediate danger, and players are encouraged to take their time to ponder, from puzzles to dialogue choices.

"Theoretically, you could play through the game by button mashing through dialogue and just play it as a sidescroller if you really wanted to," Fox said. "The purpose of the dialogue is to give context to what you're doing and context to the world. We use that to build out the characters."

Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore a Fedora was crowdfunded via Kickstarter last year and Greelit on Steam. The game is expected to first launch for Linux, Mac and Windows PC next year.

The next level of puzzles.

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