A girl, a hat and several hourglasses scattered throughout various worlds. If I didn’t know any better, I thought this was a sequel to Super Mario 64. But A Hat in Time is more than a cheap knockoff of a classic platformer game. They turned what was good about Super Mario 64 and made it into so much more. Let’s put on our thinking caps and see what this game is all about.
Platform Reviewed: PC Platforms Available: PC, PS4, Xbox One Publisher: Humble Bundle Developer: Gears for Breakfast Release Date: October 5, 2017 MSRP: $29.99 (PHP 759.95) This review is based on a review copy provided by Humble Bundle.
PC specifications used in playing the game:
Intel Pentium CPU G3258
NVIDIA GeForce GTX750 Ti
Game Display Settings configured to: High
A Hat in Time is a quirky tale about a little girl who was on her way home to transport hourglasses. The hourglasses are Time Pieces that if broken can cause a time rift and rewind time. It also serves as the main energy source of the spaceship that the girl is riding on. But when she came across the planet of Mafia Town, some villainous man was asking her to pay the toll fee for passing through their planet. She refused but when she did the menacing man broke her window and out went all the hourglasses from her ship. It got scattered across many worlds and now she has to get them back before anyone decides to use them for their own means.
The game’s mechanics are very reminiscent of Super Mario 64. You basically go to each world completing objectives to acquire an hourglass. Collect enough hourglass and you get to open another path door inside the ship that will have a telescope that can take you to another world. I’m guessing the telescope is only a means for you to locate the world and not actually go through it to get to that world but I digress.
What makes it truly unique though is that you’re not just going to a world to hunt for hourglasses. Each of the world has very specific objectives for you to do to get an hourglass. One world for example, has you going through a spooky mansion and getting to its attic without being caught by the evil spirit that lives within. Being caught means taking a hitpoint from your life and you’d have to start over from a checkpoint. Dying in the game doesn’t mean you’d have to start over from the beginning but that still depends if you get a checkpoint while getting to your objective.
Our protagonist also dons many hats that will help her throughout her adventure. Each hat has a unique skill like throwing potion bombs, stomping the ground as a block of ice, or finding your next objective. My favorite one has to be the brewin’ hat which allows you to throw potion bombs at destructible blocks. You can also throw them at enemies as well. The hats can also be customized by tackling time rifts across the worlds.
Time rifts are little blobs of time that were broken open when hourglasses that were scattered broke open. Most of the time rifts are generic platforming sequences but there are some that are unique. Just like other objectives, your goal is to get the hourglass from the time rift. The one thing that’s different is that when you complete a time rift, you get to spin a slot machine that will earn you customization for your hats and color change for your clothes or you could even get a change of soundtrack.
The world of A Hat in Time is colorful, vibrant, and breathtaking. Each world is designed beautifully according to what it represents. My favorite world would have to be the Alpine Skylines as it offers free roam of the island in a sense that there are no objectives to accomplish from the start. You will have to figure it out on your own on how to get the hourglasses from this world. Plus its breathtaking view is a must see.
The boss fights are also grand in nature, challenging but at the same time rewarding. It does give a callback to platformer games of old and it’s such a nice way of reliving all those fun times in one game. I must say that this game really offers a lot in terms of challenges and things to do. You can never run out of places to find those hourglasses.
Another fun thing that this game adds as you traverse the worlds is the addition of badges. These badges aid you in your quest to finding those Time Pieces by giving boosts to your various hats or even provide you with tools that lets you access hard to reach areas. They can also spike the difficulty of the game if you wish to do so. I’m also happy to report that our little protagonist can swim. (Note: Swimming in games have always been a pet peeve of mine and jumping, it’s important for the protagonist to jump, why even call it a platformer if you can’t jump).
Even with all these awesome things, there’s one thing that bugs me in this game. The crazy camera angles that it provides. Like in most platformers, it doesn’t do well in the camera angle department. I find myself getting stuck in a corner where the camera has a seizure. This really takes away from the experience as I find myself getting dizzy at times because of this. But if you don’t have any problems with that then by all means enjoy the camera craziness.
A Hat in Time is a timeless adventure of epic proportions. An old school platforming game with a twist. A classic that will be one of the most memorable games in existence. I recommend these for people who misses the good ol’ days and have been waiting to get their hands on a game that plays similarly to games like Super Mario 64. It can definitely satiate the feeling of anticipation as we wait for Super Mario Odyssey to be released.
A Hat In Time - Review
May it be the likes of Shadow of the Colossus or Metal Gear Solid, if it’s quite there but not enough to push the boundaries, it’s still an awesome game.