Based on a true story, discover the horror of the Canton insane asylum as you attempt to rescue your daughter. Experience the scariest game of 2014.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (691 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 18, 2014

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"As a Indie Survival Horror game, it is very well done. A feeling of constant dread and mortal danger awaits as you look for your daughter in a Asylum."
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April 27

Hatman is new and improved

Based on a true story. The scariest game of 2014.

9 comments Read more

About This Game

“The Scariest Game of 2014”

The Hat Man: Shadow Ward tells the real life story of the events that took place at the Canton State Insane Asylum fifty years ago, as reported by those who survived.

When you receive word from the asylum staff that your daughter has gone missing from the facility, you set out to solve the mystery of her disappearance. When you arrive, you’re thrust into a living nightmare.

All electricity and communication with the outside world has been cut off, and the asylum is being terrorized by supernatural beings, which we now refer to as The Hat Man and the Shadow people.

Armed only with a flashlight and the items you find along the way, it’s up to you to survive the terror and find your daughter.

The Hatman: Shadow Ward, is based off accounts from books, newspaper clippings , and internet sources. The Canton insane asylum environment is procedurally generated from a proprietary algorithm that guarantees a unique and unpredictable experience on every playthrough.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
    • Processor: 2.0Ghz - Low budget CPUs such as Celeron or Duron needs to be at about twice the CPU speed
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon X1000/GeForce 6 - Integrated graphics and low budget cards might not work.
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.5.8 or newer
    • Processor: 2.0Ghz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon X1000/GeForce 6 - Integrated graphics and low budget cards might not work.
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
230 of 285 people (81%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
The Hat Man: Shadow Ward is a indie horror game.
Your daughter is assigned to an asylum because of attempting suicide. Somehow she has gone missing and it is up to you to find her.
At the beginning you can choose if you play as the father or the mother (no difference to game, just difference voices).
Soon after the start you will realize that The Hat Man is nothing more as another Slender clone. You move through the rooms and try to find all pages (notes from your daughter) while the Hat Man is trying to chase you.
The Hat Man is fairly slow and not a real danger at all. You can easily walk through the rooms and collect the pages. To finish the game it takes something around 30 minutes.
The graphics are not great at all. The whole game is very repetitive, all rooms look the same.
The sound is okay but the voice acting is really awful.
The Hat Man: Shadow Ward is not scary at all and especially not worth 4,99 (former price was 14,99€).

Sounds 3/10
Graphics 3/10
Gameplay 2/10
Atmosphere 2/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
68 of 90 people (76%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
Game: The Hat Man: Shadow Ward
Genre: Survival horror
Developer: Game Mechanics
Publisher: Game Mechanics
Copy supplied by developer

The Hat Man: Shadow Ward is a first-person survival horror game set in an asylum developed and published by Game Mechanics.

You play as either the father or mother of Virginia Berry, who disappeared from the asylum where she was being treated for attempting suicide. As you go and investigate her disappearance, you find no one in the asylum and you start looking for pages from your daughter's journal while being chased by a shadowy figure.
Unlike most horror games of this nature, reading the notes and discovering what your daughter was living through is more interesting than simply looking at doodles and drawings of the monster. Unfortunately, the plot really goes nowhere and is disposable at best for the game.

As far as Unity games go, this doesn't stand out from the crowd. The environments are polished and I didn't encounter a single bug, but the rooms all look the same and it becomes really hard to navigate the environment. The design of the titular villain and the shadow people isn't really scary, and once you see them the built-up scariness disappears.

Similarly to Slenderman: The Eight Pages, you must move through the environment looking for pages while avoiding being caught by the Hat Man. You will also need to find some objects to open new areas and further explore the asylum. The pages are really easy to find since they make a noise when you are near them, and the shadow people can be "defeated" by hitting'em with your flashlight "Alan Wake style".

The game is really easy to beat, and the antagonist showed up rarely and was really slow and easy to avoid.

The voice acting for both the father and mother is hilariously bad, and that alone is worth playing the game. There is only one piece of music, and is the relaxing one that plays at the radio. There are also some ambient noises, and luckily no screamers or loud jumpscares.

After having beaten the game, you can replay it to unlock the 11 achievements that require you to beat the game as fast as possible and find and listen to all the diary pages.

The game is creepy most of the times, but the boring level design, poorly developed ghosts and short length make the game feel more boring than it needed to be. However, I recommend this game for the voice acting and really cheap price to support the developers to create a better product.

Story: 6
Graphics: 7
Gameplay: 5
Challenge: 3
Sound: 5
Replayability: 4


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Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
69 of 92 people (75%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 18
Prepare to die screaming…or more likely laughing at the horrendously bad voice acting of ‘The Hat Man: The 20+ Pages’……wait….wrong game (and more on the voice acting later).

Alas, just as has happened with so many other indie horror games in recent years and with the advent of the Slender series, ‘The Hat Man: Shadow Ward’ (the ‘for real’ name) falls victim to the same ‘collect quest’ gameplay mechanic. This means that you need to find a set number of pages from your daughter’s diary to complete the game. Ultimately, that’s the basis of the game: you either play as the father or mother in search of said daughter, who has gone missing from the seemingly empty asylum she was committed to which is now populated by shadow people/The Hat Man (BTW – the idea of shadow peeps is based loosely on fact and there are many documented cases, and even some decent movies, about people that have seen or had encounters with these so-called ‘Shadow People’). Thankfully, you don’t just search for pages as you also need to find some other items to progress deeper into the asylum and defeat The Hat Man (who I guess is like the pimp of the shadow peeps) to get your daughter back.

One of the more unique attributes of this game (though it’s been done before) is that sound is utilized to pinpoint the location of pages/other items you need by means of whispery voices. Also, the sound design of this game isn’t half bad for being a budget title, with some of the sound effects/ambient music being pretty creepy in my opinion.

Now as promised, I must go back to my earlier comment about the voice acting. Granted, this game is super short and can be beat in less than half an hour, so you may think that voice acting wouldn’t be too important in such a game…..but it kinda, sorta totally is. Essentially, it’s hilarious. No, seriously, I’m not joking. I mean, it’s so stupendously bad that it’s good (I don’t know how that works; it defies the human intellect to comprehend how that can be) but it’s true. I figure most people will laugh at it, though some may actually want to cry at how bad it is. And for all those 100% achievement unlock Steamers out there – prepare thine selves!! There is actually an achievement for listening to your daughter reading the pages of her diary as you collect them. Sure, this game can fairly easily be ‘100%’d’ and the aforementioned achievement is easy enough to unlock, but don’t go joy-puking your faces off just yet as I seriously believe that listening to all of the pages may very well land you in an asylum. I personally just barely managed to keep my sanity intact while unlocking this achievement, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

This game can be fun for like 2 hrs tops, but I wouldn’t recommend it at full price, even if it is a budget title. With decent voice acting, who knows, perhaps this game could have been terrifying. As it is, it will likely be overlooked by most gamers, but it is somewhat interesting and good for a laugh….or cry, so give it a shot.
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42 of 59 people (71%) found this review helpful
40 people found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
My daughter is missing. They told me not to come, but like I wouldn't come if my daughter was missing. But nobody is here, how could I get in the way if nobody is here? The setting is creepy, theres a fan on the wall behind the desk slowly turning. A painting lies in front of me. I feel drawn to it, almost as if in a momentary trance. I snap out of it, and head up the stairs. I walk into what appears to be a little girls room - maybe my little girls room.

A chair is on the ground in front of me, it looks knocked over....I walk to the bedside table. A diary is sitting there, so I go to open it to read it.

All of a sudden, the diary's pages start moving on their own! The world turns dark and grey as the book flies off the nightstand towards the door! Now THAT got my attention!

I walk towards the door to leave. Locked....i must have missed something. I go to pick up the diary that is now on the floor. Theres voices and whispers all around me! Holy crap i've got to get out of this room!

Then a poorly rendered silhouette with white eyes moves slowly towards me - but theres no where to run! This must be the first jumpscare!

It moves towards me painfully slowly. It makes a very corny and poor audio quality screech as the camera shakes slightly, extremely un-scary.

'He captured your soul!'

No, they captured my ♥♥♥♥ing 19 cents.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
20 of 23 people (87%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 2
OMG WTF! Whoever made this game ♥♥♥♥ you man! I was not ready for those scares! I have never pressed Alt+F4 this fast in my life! Jesus Christ! I love it!!!!!!
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19 of 23 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
I’ll admit I maybe spent longer studying The Hat Man: Shadow Ward’s death screen than it deserved. But it so nicely summed up the game for me that I couldn’t help but appreciate that I was being handed a focus point for my review without even having to look for it.

But let’s step back for a moment because it’s not just the death screen important here, but how you arrive at it. After scurrying through a twisting, self replicating maze of stock textures and out of place items, you’re inevitably caught the titular Hat Man in all his floating jack-o-lantern glory. And what’s this? He’s opening his mouth and- oh, I guess that wasn’t supposed to happen.

And just like that we’re transported to a perfectly flat, perfectly bland death screen featuring three buttons, each drawn with the same ugly font and taking up almost the entire screen. I realize it’s a screen that didn’t need to have much detail, but what’s here is such a pitiful excuse for a menu I couldn’t help but laugh at it.

I suppose I can give The Hat Man that much anyway; it made me laugh. First at the ridiculous voice acting that I want so much to believe was intentional. Then when turning around and laying eyes on what I think was supposed to be a terrifying demon but looked more like a blazing smile.

And finally at the death screen, which I saw many times and eventually decided was a good enough place to give this game a rest. After all The Hat Man is just doing his job haunting this asylum, and doing it damn well at that, so I’ll just leave him be and go do literally anything else to try to forget this ever happened.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
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20 of 27 people (74%) found this review helpful
17 people found this review funny
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
I hate my freind for gifting me this game....
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
27 of 40 people (68%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 17
A tense experience that behind some pretty cheesy and hilarious voice acting actually has a surprisingly interesting and well written story. It plays similar to that of a game called Slender except takes place inside an asylum in which you have to locate your missing daughter. I'm not usually a fan of these kind of games but this has my interest. Would be interesting to see what developers like this (real people) with a larger budget could produce as this actually has a nice layout, good design choices and an effectively tense atmosphere.
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
There is a reason this game is 19 cents (depending on what country you live in) I would label it as a "So bad its good" type of game

The voice acting was so bad. I've seen better performance in a adult film.
Its follows a Slenderman pattern (such as getting pages and avoid running into Hat Man) but this game has a better story and explanation.
2005 called, it wants its graphics back.

I watched Pewdiepie (I know what your thinking, Omg Pewdiepie? Really?) play this game when it was in demo stage and i must say the game looked better as a demo.

However, i do appreciate the effort this game tries to give.
My best reccommendation is to pick it up while its 96% off.
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40 of 70 people (57%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
Maybe I am missing something here,
But all I did was run around rooms looking for pages with a badly textured torch,
Not exactly what I find scary myself, Then again that torch was god awful...
10/10 Scary Torch of the Year!
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42 of 76 people (55%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
This review was last updated 04-27-2015

I played only some of it and will update this as i get more into it.

This is the scarest game of 2014! Because its Based on a true story.
If you want horror and some Replayability then this is the game for you.

Here is a list of Pros / Cons

*Story is nice for what it is.
*Graphics to a degree are nice.
*Models are great for what they are.
*The Atmosphere with the Constant horror is great.
*Retail price is reasonable (Getting it onsale is super deal if you ask me).

Stuff i think that can be improved
*No Goal stated at all.
*Voice Acting could be better to a degree.
*Physics to a Degree could be improved i'm 100% sure on this.
*Lighting in some areas could be better but that maybe just me.

i will update this in due time.
Thanks for Reading.
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15 of 25 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 17
Disclosure: received free copy of the game.

Shortly described this is a Survival running horror game that has randomized elements as the map is different on every play trough. The hallways even change during the same session if one walks away far enough so it really is random.

Difficulty is quite tough and constant restarts actually reminds me of Receiver, a game that is not a horror game but has the same random map every time you play it and similar kind of (illusion) of choices - and both have quite tough difficulty that goes up slowly but surely.

I have no idea what people mean when they say in some reviews that this game is a walk in the park - they must mean earlier versions as after some 3 hours i have managed to beat the game only once using save points. So many things CAN and WILL go wrong even after you think you have the mechanics figured out.

For me the concept just works. I have a lot of horror games in my library but not a nifty little horror game title like this. This game will not blow your mind and redefine the horror genre but in my books it doesn't need to. It is enough to preferably bring a new element and solid gameplay and you have a game worth it's price and this the game is able to do.

This is not a large game like Penumbra series/Amnesia nor is it a design marvel of a game squeezed into a tight space such as Anna.

Cons? Few but there are some. Rough edges here and there are annoying. Clicking on items is best done by clicking franticaly it seems. Beginning of the game is also weakest. For example if the game is so well into randomized hallways then i'd prefer to skip the early pleasantries after awhile. Also ghosts coming trough the floor at you can be a problem when changing floors so stairs require your full attention. I was also killed for the first time before i even got the flashlight. Tiny details like these which dont matter at all after some hours but add to the rough feeling in the first 30minutes. i'd also not see the face of the Hat Man at all during death. Like games better that leave it to players own imagination what happens when you get caught. (sound can also be sometimes more effective than visuals)

3 hours clocked at this time and will be expecting at least some hours more as i have not yet grown tired of the game. i'd say this is a good addition to the horror library.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 16
"Victims worldwide have reported seeing this man peering into their homes, their bedrooms, their cribs, their cars, their lives and even into their souls!" Now it's peering into your computer screen through this nice little Indie horror game.

My first encounter with a Shadow person I was like, "Wtf is that? That's not the Hatman, it's not wearing a hat!" It didn't seem like much, so I just stared at it and then.....It ate my soul. This little kid with a black blanket over it's head continued to eat my soul for about 15 minutes until I figured out I had to collect pages for the journal lol. Once I figured that out, I moved on, searching the ward for more journal pages. The creepy atmosphere and sounds made me constantly do 360s with my flashlight thinking I was about to lose my soul the whole time.

Overall, it's not a bad game. Usually games like this force you to play in a lower resolution than preferred, but this actually lets you choose. If you like creepy, suspenseful games that makes you feel like something is going to murder you wherever you go, then give this a chance.
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8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
Damn it, I spilled coffee all over my keyboard
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
15 of 26 people (58%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 19
In short
Let's get one thing straight: Hat Man is a creepy game. It's really good, but it has a few things keeping it from being perfect. It has a few bugs, the voice over for the main character is pretty bad, and it has a strange sense of direction. However, the good things definitely outway the bad ones. The ambience is great, and it made me nervous even when nothing was happening. Plus the story and voiceovers for the daughter weren't half bad either. It ended exactly when it should've too, and I left wanting more rather than thinking, "Thank god it's finally done".

  • GREAT ambience
  • Randomly generated paths
  • Better story than most horror games
  • Length is just right
  • Believable voice acting on daughter

  • A bit buggy
  • Unfair difficulty at times
  • Certain mechanics didn't work well
  • Main character's voice acting was poor
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 1
Sorta scary, but what I want to know is why do the Badges (That you craft with cards) have literally identical shields as the ones in the Morphopolis badges?? Look on my profile for proof.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
Very good. Reminds me of that Slender game that came out like 3 years ago. I haven't beat this one yet (going for a no save run) but I already enjoy it.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
Like slender man? You will love this, this is some what like slender man but I don't recommand you to play at night with your lights off because my friend FBS | FuzzyGaming did that and he felt of his chair :) (Only get it when it is on sale beause if on sale it is only 22 cent Singapore dollar or 6 Phillpine pesos.)
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
Decent indie horror title. Sufficiently creepy, with perhaps an overreliance on jump scares and stingers. Reminiscent of the various Slenderman item collecting games that have been popular as of the last few years, but better than most.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 1
Recommend it for Steam Cards (if your into that sort of thing) and that's about it. The game is cheesy and if your bored worth a shot but only on the sale at 96% off. Just waiting for my cards then it's getting uninstalled collecting digital dust, lol.
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