In a “Hat in Time” the first thing you’ll notice is that there isn’t really any time travel as such. Instead you play as a young girl on adventures through space with a big Top Hat, so we refer to her as “Hat Kid”.
This adventure takes a turn when she loses her fuel the “Time Pieces” and they are scattered across a nearby planet. It’s now up to “Hat Kid” to jump, fight and stitch new hats in order to make her way across the new world and restore her fuel to continue her journey.
This is a classic 3D platformer so you’ll see similarity to the greats like Banjo-Kazooie, Spyro the Dragon, Yooka-Laylee and even the more recent Mario: Odyssey which was also had a “Hat Mechanic” to it. The levels change it up a bit each time so at times it feel more like a “Homage to 3D Platformers” which keeps the game interesting throughout.
This is the type of game that feels like it was born to be on the Nintendo Switch even though it has take it’s time to get there. It originally was released for PC in October 2017 which was great for players in that arena who didn’t really have a fun 3D Platformer, then made it’s way to PS4 and Xbox One in December that year. Now nearly two years later “A Hat in Time” makes it’s debut on the Nintendo Switch.
As the game progresses you unlock abilities through the different hats that you stitch together to wear. Each hat is unique and gives you things like the ability to run fast or brew at cauldrons. Changing to each one is as easy as cycling through with a left shoulder button which also allows you to do quick changes so you don’t constantly stop and start essentially taking you out of the action. A great feature.
Along the way she crosses paths with some very well designed characters like the “Mafia of Cooks”, the Birds of “Dead Bird Studio” and shadows on “Subcon Forest” to name a few. You’ll need all of your cunning and various hats to move past them.
The bugs in the game are pretty much what you’d expect from any 3D Platform game, camera angles is a thing that not one of this genre has ever truly mastered and I noticed a few clipping issues with character models but nothing that is game breaking and you see the same things in pretty much every game of this style ever made.
Even though a Hat in Time isn’t build on a well known IP like Mario or Spyro it holds it’s own as a new character with amazing level design. The uniqueness of this keeps you entertained as the game progresses. The controls feel similar enough that you can jump straight in and play with very little tutorial if you are a fan of the genre.