A Hat in Time
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Help Hat Girl retrieve the time pieces that fuel her spaceship in this colorful and charming 3D platformer. It is definitely a nostalgic experience for fans of the genre and offers a rip-roaring adventure across large, colorful levels. The hat swapping antics and the way in which the game constantly switches things up certainly makes for an engrossing experience. It is not without its flaws and could have benefited from a bit more polish, but what is on offer should definitely not be missed if you have fond memories of classic 3D platformers.

Gameplay: Solid 3D platforming action and plenty of variety.

Graphics: Bright, colorful and more than delivers on its promise of being “cute-as-heck.”

Sound: The soundtrack is great and the game even features some nice voice acting

Summary 8.3 Outstanding
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A Hat in Time

Developer: Gears for Breakfast  | Publisher: Gears for Breakfast  | Release Date: 2017 | Genre: Platformer / Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Hat Girl, an adorable top hat wearing alien girl, is just minding her business aboard her cutesy and comfortable spaceship when a member of the Mafia knocks on her window. It would seem that Hat Girl cruised a little too close to a nearby planet that is home to the Mafia and they sent someone over to extort her. Since hat Girl has more important things on her mind than dealing with the Mafia, she tries to send him on his merry way, but unfortunately he’s not too keen on taking no for an answer. This spells disaster for Hat Girl when the Mafia forces his way aboard and in the process causes magical “Time Pieces” to get sucked out into space and crash to the planet below. Since these time pieces serve as fuel for her ship, Hat Girl has no choice but to go down to the planet herself in an effort to retrieve them.

With it’s silly, surreal story and charming characters, A Hat In Time is clearly influenced by the colorful 3D platformers that dominated the charts during the GameCube era. However, it is definitely not a title that just banks on nostalgia, but instead offers an authentic experience. Placing you in control of the adorable little Hat Girl, your primary goal is to visit the five massive worlds that make up the planet where the time pieces got scattered. Initially, only Mafia World is accessible, but the more time pieces you find, the more worlds you can access. Eventually, you’ll be able to visit exotic locations such as Dead Bird Studio, Subcon Forest, Alpine Skyline more. In total, there are 40 time pieces to find, and while you don’t need to get all of them, the game is addictive enough that you will want to do so.

In the great tradition of 3D platformers, A Hat In Time offers much more than just time pieces to collect. Instead, each world is also crammed with tons of other things to collect, which makes exploring the colorful levels even more enticing. Pons, which look like floating orbs, are the most plentiful and can be collected to purchase badges from the mysterious trader that hangs around on each level. These badges can then be attached to your hat to grant Hat Girl new skills. However, Hat Girl isn’t just restricted to wearing one hat, which brings us to the next collectible; yarn. Yarn is not quite as plentiful as orbs and require a little bit more searching to find, but gather enough and Hat Girl can stitch together a brand new hat. Creating all the hats are essential as each one has its own ability that comes in very handy. From the Sprint Hat that can give you a speed boost to the Brewer Hat that enables you to toss explosive potions, the hats give you plenty of reasons to return to previous levels once you stitch them, so you can reach new areas. It doesn’t end there either as there are also special tokens to be found that can be used on a slot machine back on Hat Girl’s spaceship to receive goodies like new flair or colors for her hats. Finally, you can also discover special relics, which can be combined back on the spaceship to unlock special levels. It all adds up to a game that offers a lot of replay value and obtaining a 100% clear will keep most players busy for quite a while.

A Hat In Time is also the type of game that isn’t afraid to mix things up a little bit. While it is a pure platformer at heart, you’ll often be required to do different things from one level to the next. For example, take one of the Dead Bird Studio levels, which plays out like a murder mystery aboard a moving train that sees you sneaking around trying to determine who was the killer. The same train could be carrying explosives the next level, requiring you to race against the clock to reach the engine room in time as everything around you blows up. One of the Subcon Forest levels sees you delivering mail with a scooter while Alpine Skyline requires you to zipline from one peak to the next. You never know what is coming next, which really makes for an addictive experience. The enemies you encounter are a bizarre lot, but reasonably passive, so the main challenge is always the platforming and exploration. Things start out quite easy, but by the time you reach Alpine Skyline the going can definitely get a little tricky. In true 3D platformer fashion, A Hat In Time also features some neat bosses to battle. These encounters look suitably spectacular and can be tricky until you’ve figured out their attack patterns.

With its larger than life characters, sprawling levels and colorful visuals, A Hat In Time definitely harkens back to the 3D platformer heydays of the GameCube era. The resolution of some textures is a little on the low side and the camera doesn’t always fully cooperate, but these are small niggles in the grand scheme of things. All the marketing materials describe the game as “cute-as-heck” and for once this isn’t just hyperbole. From her wonderful animations to her goofy hats, Hat Girl is a heroine that can hold her own with the best designs that the genre has to offer. We are not too sure about her nemesis, Mustache Girl, but she definitely makes for a colorful antagonist. It’s not just the visuals that are impressive either, A Hat In Time also features a great soundtrack and voice acting that is pretty decent for the most part. Controlling Hat Girl is a breeze, but with a wide array of moves such as wall jumps, double jumping and sprinting, it is definitely the type of game that benefits from being played with an analog controller.

Overall, A Hat In Time is a great experience and fans of the genre will lap up everything it has to offer. Players disappointed by previous attempts at revising the genre, such as Yooka-Laylee, should absolutely check out A Hat In Time. It’s not perfect, but it is one of the best 3D platformers that we have played in ages and undoubtedly one of the best you’ll find on the PC.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP SP3 / Windows Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 10
  • Processor: 3.0 GHz processor
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 5 GB available space
  • OS: Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 10
  • Processor: 3.5 GHz processor
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 5 GB available space
  • OS: MAC OS X 10.11.6 or higher
  • Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD Processor, 3.0 GHz processor
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Storage: 5 GB available space
  • OS: MAC OS X 10.11.6 or higher
  • Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD Processor, 3.5 GHz processor
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Storage: 5 GB available space

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