A Hat in Time Review
The adventures of Hat Kid have made their way to consoles with the release of Gears for Breakfast’s A Hat in Time. Taking a number of elements from the platformers of old, does this collectathon hold a candle to the greats?
A Hat in Time Review
The story in A Hat in Time is a simple one that works well. After one of the mafia crashes into her spacecraft, Hat Kid loses all of the Time Pieces that were powering her ship. In order to get home, she must travel to a number of different worlds, collect said Time Pieces, and make some new friends along the way. Hat Kid doesn’t say much, but the voice acting from the other characters is full of character and charm. You can’t help but like characters like the posh Mustache Girl or the grumpy owl Conductor. Some might see everything as a little too cutesy, but it fits the environment like a glove and helps establish its world.
The Time Pieces Hat Kid collects are not unlike the Stars and Moons found in Mario’s many adventures. To get these trinkets, players must accomplish challenges set in one of four unique worlds. There is never a dull moment – one section might have you investigating a murder on a western-themed train, while another will have you searching an attic in a haunted house. Each of these worlds has a series of objectives, culminating in a boss fight. There’s no filler to speak of, and though some sections are more fleshed out than others, players will enjoy going out of their way to find every last one.
There are also a number of bits and bobs to collect in A Hat in Time. The gem-like Poms serve as the currency of the game, and can be used to buy perks in the form of badges. Players can also seek out Yarn Balls to give Hat Kid a number of new abilities. Each world has different facets that make the most of these abilities, so repeat visits are a must for those looking to 100% the game.
Hat Kid takes a number of cues from the platforming greats. Players start out with a double jump, wall run, dive, and umbrella attack, but soon can incorporate moves like a speed run and hookshot. It’s standard fare, but it’s not quite as polished as Mario’s moveset. We might be rusty, but we missed a number of precise jumps on more than one occasion. The penalty for failure is small though, as there are both infinite lives and checkpoints a-plenty.
The entirety of the adventure is shorter than you may expect, clocking in at around seven hours at a leisurely pace. There are a number of collectibles and alternate objectives to be had though, giving it some legs.
A Hat is Time is a truly charming game. It does not quite have the polish of Nintendo or Rare’s greats, but the sheer amount of originality and care that went into it makes it a must-play for platforming fans.