A little less than a year ago, Gears for Breakfast released this little gem for the world to enjoy. And enjoy it I have. If you’ve never heard or seen A Hat in Time before, it is a 3-D action platformer made in the same vain as other classics such as Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie. The game is full of colorful level, giant worlds to explore, an overabundance of collectibles and some of the most engaging characters I have seen in a platformer.
My style of review is like having a casual conversation, so lets discuss what the game does right and wrong.
Exploration– This is one of the most important factors to me when determining the fun factor of a game. The game features 4 massive worlds plus a fifth level that is linear instead of a sandbox. Yes most games feature 10+ worlds, but the worlds you’ll find in A Hat in Time are vibrant, unique, and full of charm. Mafia Town is still a world I’ll load up and run around in to this day. The freedom of movement only aids this category as well. Featuring double jumps, aerial dashes, and wall climbing, the open worlds are super fun to traverse. It never gets old dashing around the levels.
Characters- I don’t always expect much from the supporting cast from platformers, however almost every character in this game is memorable and just adds to the personality that is A Hat is Time. The Snatcher is probably my favorite character, but the conductor and DJ Grooves rivalry, the alien-fearing Mafia, and the interesting antihero Mustache Girl, form a rainbow of charm that help carry the game.
Collectibles- Collectibles. You either love them or hate them. I think Gears for Breakfast absolutely nailed the collectibles that are hidden throughout the game. The collectibles are the Time Pieces (think stars from Super Mario), Pons (think coins from Super Mario) and Rift Tokens (I don’t really have a comparison, but its a second currency). Not collectibles per se, but there are several hats she can equip to give her powers. For example, she has a sprint cap that lets her move faster while say, the brewers cap gives her the ability to launch projectiles. There’s also dyes that change her costume color and style. I find this to be the perfect blend. There’s enough collectibles to help cover the level and motivate you to explore without making it feel like a chore. This really goes a long way in a game styled like this.
It is short… for now. 5 worlds and a nice hub world means the game is of fair length. However, as a gamer, you never want a game to end. However, the next wave of DLC/update says it roll out 2 new worlds. Of course I am looking forward to this. This small blemish may soon be erased.
Untapped Potential– When I was reading about the game, I remember reading about using the Time pieces to turn back time and such. It comes up from time to time, but it seems like its mostly in the background. This seems to be a story element and not a gameplay mechanic. I could be misremembering something, but it will feels like there were some time alerting mechanics they could have expanded upon.
Really, these are my only real complaints. The game is just a perfect blend of elements I love in video games. Anything else I say from here would just be reiterating earlier thoughts. If you played early platformers from the N64/Gamecube, PS1/PS2 era, you owe it to yourself to get this game. A Hat in Time is available on the steam store for just $29.99 and the PS4 and Xbox One for $29.99 as well. I’m not going to assign a score but just know this game is close to perfect. I keep fluctuating somewhere between 9 out of 10 to 10 out of 10. Yeah, it really is a great game.
Be on the look out for my youtube review on channel in the near future.