A Hat in Time - “Cute-as-Heck” 3D Platformer!

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by ForeverMaster, Apr 5, 2020.


Have you ever played "A Hat in Time?"

Yeah! 4 vote(s) 33.3%
Nope. 8 vote(s) 66.7%
  1. 4 April, 2020
    Last Updated: 4/8/2020

    A Hat in Time - “Cute-as-Heck” 3D Platformer!


    Initial Release Date: 5 October 2017
    Genres: 3D Action Platformer, Collect-A-Thon
    Developer: Gears for Breakfast
    Publisher: Humble Bundle
    Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
    Price: $30.00 / $40.00 (Ultimate Edition - includes both DLCs and the soundtrack)
    User Score: 98% Positive on Steam (out of 21,900 reviews).
    If it hasn’t been obvious from my recent Twitter activity, profile pictures and comments, I am in overwhelming joy with “A Hat in Time!”

    In an era where big-budget shooters and massive virtual worlds dominate the video game industry, new 3D platformers are scarce. The genre used to be populated from its inception in the 1990’s to the early 2000’s. If you were a gamer growing up during this period, chances are you fondly remember games like Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, or the original Crash Bandicoot / Spyro the Dragon trilogy. Allow me to introduce you to a new 3D platformer from 2017 that I believe rivals Nintendo’s own Super Mario Odyssey: A Hat in Time.

    I was first introduced to A Hat in Time back in 2018-19 via YouTube videos. One video was a rather negative look at the game’s initial release. Another was a look at the start of the game in Mafia Town which didn’t impress me much. So, when I started playing the game in January, my only expectations were a 3D platformer with voice acting. It is best played using a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller or something similar.


    In A Hat in Time, you play as Hat Kid, an adorable little girl who is traveling in her spaceship back to her homeworld. While observing her progress for the day, a Mafia goon knocks on her ship’s front windows demanding a fee for her “flying boat.” Refusing to pay, Hat Kid shuts the door on him. The goon then smashes through her ship’s window. The forces of escaping air causes both of them to fall to the Earth-like planet below, as well as the Time Pieces that power Hat Kid’s spaceship. Now, she has to retrieve these magical hourglasses that have scattered across the planet.

    Hat Kid lands in Mafia Town, the game’s first world and chapter. Each chapter in AHIT consists of acts (or missions) typically set in a single large world. The goal of each act is to collect the Time Piece. Some Time Pieces are inside Time Rifts: secret levels the player must find either within the rift’s chapter or Hat Kid’s spaceship. A small photo of its location is given for reference. As the player collects timepieces, more chapters become available and new Time Rifts will appear. Speaking of collecting, AHIT is also a collect-a-thon, a subgenre of 3D platformers. Hat Kid is not only collecting Time Pieces, but also green pons to buy functional badges, yarn to stitch new hats, and Rift Tokens to exchange for clothing dyes and hat flairs, among other collectibles. They all have their place in the game, unlike Donkey Kong 64 which had an excessive number of near-useless collectibles.
    Each world/chapter (and act to an extent) is unique from the rest, both in terms of structure and themes. AHIT starts off linear, but quickly branches out after clearing Acts 1-4 in Chapter 1. The other chapters in the game range from working with two bird movie directors who hate each other, to doing contracts for a fan-favorite ghost, to exploring a world freely above the clouds. As one can imagine, the characters are diverse as well and almost all of them are fully voiced! Much of their dialogue is cute to hilarious; it is very well-written, comparable to Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (Fun Fact: Thousand-Year Door is Hat in Time creator Jonas Kaerlev's favorite game)!

    The most important part to any good 3D platformer is the movement. If it’s not fun to move around, the rest of the game will suffer. I am happy to report that controlling Hat Kid feels great! She has multiple ways to “correct” a jump. She can double-jump, dive in midair, grab ledges, and climb up walls over a short distance. The point of these mobility options is to reduce player frustration. The dive and dive cancel are integral to Hat Kid’s moveset. The sequence: jump, double-jump, dive, dive cancel -- allows her to cross large gaps, as well as suppress her fall (she will take fall damage if she hits the ground too hard).
    Hat Kid fights enemies with an umbrella. This is her melee weapon, and she obtains it during the very first act. She can also stomp on foes or perform a homing attack from above, similar to Sonic the Hedgehog.

    When you have played so many video games or content mods of existing games, it is inevitable to find similar gameplay elements between them. It’s near-impossible to create a 100% original title when there are literally hundreds and hundreds of them across gaming history. A Hat in Time is inspired by many 3D platformers of old. Its developer, Gears for Breakfast, describes it as a "love letter to the GameCube era." In many ways, it is a spiritual successor to works from the heydays of its genre.
    In the last 5-6 years, I have begun to appreciate the powerful emotions video games can produce. Something I find really strange about myself is loving a video game even more after beating it, then seeing other people’s reactions and learning about its development. This was definitely the case with AHIT. The reactions are a double-edged sword though. I have felt bad for playing games others criticize (I recommend watching >>this video<< by RelaxAlax if you are sensitive to opposing opinions).

    ( https://i.imgur.com/BbXDCNe.png )

    AHIT is an incredible game, probably the best (and most wholesome) platformer I have EVER played. However, it is not devoid of criticism. Some of the game’s shortcomings can be boiled down to the fact it was made by a rather small inexperienced team. Kaerlev started the project on his own in 2012 and gradually built an international team and company as the game grew in scope. The developers certainly learned a lot while making this game. AHIT is an astounding achievement for a newly formed indie studio. If you are still not convinced to play this wonderful platformer, here are some highlights I did not mention:

    • The PC/Steam version has a workshop where users can submit and download mods and levels.
    • If you find AHIT not very challenging, the Seal the Deal DLC adds a brutal “Death Wish” mode.
    • The Nyakuza Metro DLC adds emotes and an Online Party feature.
    • You can quick-swap hats from a selection wheel or pressing left/right on the D-pad; there is no need to pause the game for something you'll do frequently.
    • Have I not stressed how dang cute Hat Kid is!? :love: :<3:

    If you enjoyed the Super Mario 3D platformers and somehow do not own this game, “What the PECK is wrong with you!?” I did cry at A Hat in Time’s ending, but I take that as a proof of love. I absolutely LOVED this... Indie Masterpiece!!

    Holy mustache... This essay took way longer than I expected...

    Thanks to Jonas Kaerlev (@MekuCube) and Gears for Breakfast for creating this amazing game, and my brother for finding this in one of his Humble Bundles!

    "Boop!" the Links!
    Steam Store Page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/253230/A_Hat_in_Time/
    Kickstarter Campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jonaskaerlev/a-hat-in-time-3d-collect-a-thon-platformer
    Complete Instruction Manual: https://hatintime.com/public/AHatinTime_Manual_Official.pdf
    A Hat in Time on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HatInTime
    Hat Kid Art by JamoART: https://www.deviantart.com/jamoart/art/Hat-Kid-708457158
    AHIT Minecraft Soundpack: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wsrzaM2GgrtUP-MLZpR3XcFtdIYT2maW/view?usp=sharing

    Google Docs. Version (if can't comment on this post): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IY0X7Up8xqDvoS3dqN_vRDafTsC54nds/view?usp=sharing

    • I get very picky about graphic settings in video games. My desktop PC cannot consistently run A Hat in Time at 1080p 60FPS on max settings. Thankfully, I can use my brother's laptop which has a much better GPU.
    • This game does have a few bugs, but none of the ones I've encountered are game-breaking.
  2. Wowzers looks like fun! Might have to give it a try when I am done classes!
    607 and ForeverMaster like this.
  3. I must admit, you did an amazing job writing this review. It must have taken quite a while to organize. You've piqued my interest.
    607 and ForeverMaster like this.
  4. Thanks for writing!
    Sounds really cool, I'll add it to my mental wishlist of Switch games. ;)
    Looks like you forgot to change the font for this paragraph. :)
  5. Hey kiddo, wanna sign a contract?
    ForeverMaster likes this.
  6. How the peck have I not seen this thread, AHIT is one of my favorite games! Nicely done on the review ;)
    607 and ForeverMaster like this.
  7. You can't say P-E-C-K! :eek:
    ForeverMaster likes this.
  8. :p That's what Mr. DJ Grooves says. Although, he probably hasn't met the EMC staff yet. I doubt those non-darlings would want to forbid the word anyway.

    I'd rather hear people say that bird word or any other humorous substitution of those no good, dirty, meaningless curse words. I find the Conductor's word very fitting for any pesky birds or flying creatures, such as wyverns and MC phantoms.
  9. On the other hand, those PECKNECKS can go all the way to the back of the train!
  10. Boop them off
    ForeverMaster likes this.
  11. Heard of the game, never got into it. A select couple of my friends who have played it say it's good.
    ForeverMaster and Cyberazaz101 like this.
  12. I compiled a list of cheaper Switch games as my birthday anniversary is coming up, and considered putting this on it. I decided against it though, because I wanted to make sure that I would not be disappointed no matter the game I'd end up getting. I wasn't sure about this one, as it doesn't look that good to me, and you really liking it doesn't entail that I'd enjoy it also. ;)
  13. I'll vouch haha. It's really a wholesome game. It's rather short and easy though (unless you do the Seal the Deal DLC challenges.) But all in all, I would think it's well worth the price and the humor/story is refreshing and fun.
    ForeverMaster and 607 like this.
  14. It's staying on my mental wishlist. :) Good to know it's short.
    ForeverMaster likes this.