In recent years, 3D platforming games have made a comeback of sorts with Yooka-Laylee leading the way. Taking inspiration from classic 3D platformers such as Banjo-Kazooie, Super Mario 64, and Super Mario Sunshine—Gears for Breakfast have created their own unique 3D platforming game, A Hat in Time.
Originally released for PC back in 2017, A Hat in Time has since made its way to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Now, Gears for Breakfast and Humble Bundle have brought A Hat in Time “home” to the Nintendo Switch. 3D platforming fans will be smiling from ear to ear, A Hat in Time doesn’t disappoint.
A Hat in Time Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Gears for Breakfast
Publisher: Humble Bundle
Genre: Platform, action-adventure
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Collect the Time Pieces and return home
In A Hat in Time, you play as Hat Kid—a little girl travelling through space trying to make her way home. One day, on her travels, she encounters a planet who demands a toll be paid before she is allowed to pass by. After a struggle and refusing to pay, her ship is damaged, which sends her along with all of her magical Time Pieces down to the planet below.
I’ll be the first to admit, the story isn’t all that great. In fact, I’d even go as far as calling it cheesy. Though, when you look back at classic 3D platformers, the genre has never really been known for having a great narrative. The story never really takes itself seriously and is a great way to just relax while playing a fun game.
Traditional 3D platforming gameplay
You goal is to collect all the Time Pieces, which have been scattered across the planet. Fans of the genre will instantly feel at home. You have your usual 3D platforming abilities including jumps, double jumps, dashes and even sprinting. Starting to sound a little bit familiar?
And, throughout your adventure you will come across different hats that give you different abilities such as bursts of speed, and showing you the direction for the stage’s objective. There are some areas in stages of the game, which require a certain hat to access. Each level has a fair amount of collectable to gather ranging from in game currency known as pons to yarn that allows you to build new hats.
There are a total of 7 different worlds to explore, which are present in a main hub. There are doors that gradually unlock as you collect Time pieces, and give you access to chapters ala Super Mario 64. In all, each chapter roughly contains six acts. This means, you can expect to spend somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10-15 hours to complete the game in its entirety.
Bright and colourful cartoon graphics
A Hat in Time is full of bright colours, cartoon graphics and a variety of worlds with different themes. My favourite world is based off a film studio that takes you from the present day, all the way back to the 1930s. It’s a breath of fresh air and a departure from the typical underwater, ice, and fire worlds that 3D platformers generally offer.
There are however a few performance problems with the game that are noticeable but do not take away from the overall enjoyment. The first being the game’s camera. I’d say about 90-95% of the time the camera is fine. However, there are times when the camera seems to have a mind of its own. As a result, there are times when you just can’t get a good view of the action on the screen.
My second quibble with the game is the frame rate. The issue comes with its inconstancy, which leads to judder on the screen, making some situations harder than they should be.
A Hat in Time is a fun and charming 3D platformer that fans of the genre will enjoy
In the end, A Hat in Time is an enjoyable 3D platforming experience at a budget friendly price. The characters are cute, charming and the worlds are varied. The game’s story is on the cheesy side but it does enough to pull you in.
I enjoyed unlocking and collecting the various different hats throughout the game and using my new gained abilities. Aside from some performance issues, I can honestly say that A Hat in Time is a solid title.
As a huge fan of 3D platformers, I hope to see more games like this in the near future.
+ Charming characters and a fun story
+ Variety of innovative worlds to explore
+ Familiar controls
+ Fun collectables in every level
– Occasional framerate and camera issues
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF A HAT IN TIME
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5