Mr. Sun’s Hatbox is probably the weirdest and least anticipated take on the Metal Gear Solid series I’ve ever seen. Specifically, MSH is pushing a direct tribute to and parody of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, with everything from visual references to direct involvement of some of the gameplay mechanics themselves.

Mr. Sun’s Hatbox follows the story of Mr. Sun, who runs a shop called Mr. Sun’s Hatbox. One day, a delivery of some new hats from Amazon was hijacked by a group of hooligans who I’m sure included a mischievous banana. They take Mr. Sun’s chest and flee to a medieval castle conveniently down the street.

After that, the game is no longer about Mr. Sun, and instead follows an Amazon minimum wage employee who is driven by the company’s policy to retrieve the package. Using his highly trained skills as an expert infiltration, the employee of Amazin infiltrates the castle, but cannot keep the fingers of the fleeing robbers.

After failing to retrieve the package, an Amazon employee sets up a secret base of operations below Mr. Sun’s store. From here, enemy agents are diverted, outfitted with captured equipment, and sent on countless special international warfare operations conducted in hopes of finally retrieving Mr. Sun’s expulsion.

Photo: Kenny Sun

Mr. Sun Hatbox plays with mechanics that close the Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain parody. This is not to say that Mr. Sun Hatbox is an unoriginal game. On the contrary, I think the loving parody of the gritty, war-torn Metal Gear series is part of what makes Hatbox stand out as its own thing.

First thing’s first, and this isn’t really related to the Metal Gear connection, Mr. Sun’s Hatbox is a platform game. You need to use your skills as a platform to sneak past and outsmart your enemies, go into a kill range, or if you don’t have a gun, shoot them down Super Mario style.

Sneaking up to an enemy (or rather, jumping on top of them) knocks them down, giving you one of two options for how to deal with a downed enemy. You either choose to kill the enemy, play surprisingly awful animations, or send them back to base using, I’m 100% serious here, Fulton’s recovery balloon.

The game is blatantly about parody and I love it.

Once they arrive at your base (which you must upgrade over time with new attached rooms such as the R&D section, equipment storage, etc.), you can send these new allies out on missions to earn capital and items. They have a chance to fail these missions, and if they do they will be lost forever.

MSH base image
Photo: Kenny Sun

You can increase your agent’s chance of success by providing them with weapons, which you can also retrieve in the field.

MSH combat photo
Photo: Kenny Sun

Agents also come with positive or negative traits that can affect their usefulness in a mission. Collecting agents becomes almost like a game of Pokemon, where you go so far as to find and collect agents with the best combination of traits and add them to your collection for future tactical hat work.

Hats are also a huge deal at Mr. Sun Hat Box. You can find and collect hats in the field, and I don’t think there’s a limit to the amount you can wear at once – at least now one I’ve found. Hats are some of the roguelike perks, and some of them provide incredibly useful perks. Some are completely useless.

The gameplay is a mixture of stealth levels, roguelikes, and base building, and is very unique, but it definitely feels like what Mr. Sun’s Hatbox really wants is the absurdist humor intrinsically connected to its premise. For some, this will be the game’s greatest strength. For others, its biggest weakness.

I’m not going to color it, there are people who won’t like the humor in Mr. Sun’s Hatbox. It’s not bad, by any means, but it’s a very specific kind of comedy that not everyone will appreciate, at least not all the way through.

While Mr. Sun’s Hatbox contains some solid gameplay mechanics, which I personally didn’t find enough to keep me hooked on the title once my love for the concept started to fade. This certainly isn’t an issue every gamer will encounter, but if you’re looking at the game and feeling nothing because of the visual silliness, the gameplay alone may not sell you.

Really, what Mister Sun’s Hatbox made me want to do the most is go play Metal Gear Solid V.

I’m not saying Hatbox is a bad game, because it isn’t. I’m not saying it won’t attract die-hard fans, because it will. What I am saying is that the game is not for everyone. Its appeal is closely tied to comedy, which is perhaps the most subjective thing of all.

If I could sum up my feelings about Mr. Sun’s Hatbox in not so many words, I’d say it’s a fun game with a clever sense of humor and a surprisingly strong parody of the Metal Gear series. The game mechanics are fun, and mix some genres you wouldn’t expect to see. However, I think the game gets a lot repetitive, and you’d expect it to keep you silly and with a sense of humor. If you can’t, you won’t stay for long.

The last word

Mr. Sun’s Hatbox is a beloved parody of the games that have come before, which is notable for its unique mechanics and absurd sense of humor. However, I think those who fail to appreciate the Hatbox comedy will be hard-pressed to find a reason to stick with the game for the long haul.


This Try Hard Guides PC review version of this game has been provided. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the game reviews section of our website! Mr. Sun’s Hatbox is available on steam And Nintendo Switch.

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