A Hat in Time (PS4 Review)

A Hat in Time

A Hat for every occasion

Characters wearing hats in video games aren’t rare, but 2017 has had a few center their gameplay mechanic around hats. And Gears for Breakfast’s 3D platformer A Hat in Time is a love letter to platforming games from the N64 and GameCube era.

The world is incredibly charming and our adorable protagonist is always entertaining, regardless of being another silent protagonist. The world and character art styles are reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and other platforming games of that era.

Time Flies

A Hat in Time’s campaign revolves around a girl who loses her precious time pieces during her voyage home. She will travel to 4 locations, each featuring unique visuals and mechanics to challenge our hero’s skills and reflexes. It is extremely clear that some of our favorite 3D platforming games like Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie influenced A Hat in Time. Like its predecessors, players will travel to various locations collecting the all-important time pieces. The 40 time pieces scattered across the worlds come from helping NPCs, traversing through platforming obstacles and defeating bosses. The campaign will generally last somewhere between 5-10 hours, depending on skill levels and a player’s devotion to completion percentages.

Big Things in Small Packages

As the player progresses, they will find balls of yarn to craft various hats. Each hat grants unique abilities such as sprinting, time control, and a ground pound that renders the player invincible. Each hat is customizable with up to 3 purchasable badges that enable new improvements. These include preventing bonking when diving into walls, a grappling hook and lowering cooldown timers on hats. The player will generally have to revisit certain levels after obtaining various hats to finish them completely. Each level has 2-3 time rifts hidden throughout the level, and these rifts were by far the best short form platforming experiences in the game.

Each world has a good amount of depth and many of them will change drastically depending on which mission you are on. The soundtrack is adequate, but none of the tracks stand out like others in the genre. The level design is by far one of the strongest points, and it’s open enough for the player to want to explore but still gives enough cues to lead the player to the mission’s goal. The multiple challenges in platforming mechanics, such as bouncing off enemies, wall jumps, and temporary platforms, create a perfect harmony of challenge and enjoyment.

A Hat in Time is also packed with fun little extras such as a text-based mini-game Corgi-7, where you play as a corgi setting out on an adventure. There are color palette swaps, music remixes, and cosmetic changes for various hats give a nice level of customization and unlock regularly throughout the campaign. There are also a few options to turn on for fans of speed-run and hardcore styles.

With Hat in Hand

I have to say that A Hat in Time is by far one of my favorite pick up and play platforming experiences of 2017. The game’s humor and charm made me laugh from beginning to end. The levels feature a lot of variety, and there are all sorts of tricks you can use to progress faster outside of the main path shown to you. While the game isn’t particularly difficult, but it still offers a mild challenge, especially in the fast-paced and creative boss fights. Fans who don’t own a Switch and are clamoring for an excellent platforming game should look no further than A Hat in Time.

Final Score: 4/5 Atoms

A Hat in Time is currently available digitally on PS4, Xbox One, and Steam for $29.99.

*A hat in Time was reviewed using a retail download key on PS4 provided by Gears for Breakfast

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Jada Griffin
Jada Griffin 334 posts

Legends tell of a princess captured and raised by Ninjas to be their future leader. Jada was trained from an early age to max the luck stat, always strike first and to never surrender.