I recently found myself with something of a gap in the game list. It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to play (there’s at least 3 games I should be playing right now), but rather that I didn’t have anything I wanted to play. I didn’t want an involved story, I didn’t want a realistic world, and I didn’t want something with a sad tone to it. No, I wanted a good, old-fashioned cartoony platformer to jump around in. Fortunately for me, I still had yet to play A Hat in Time, so I downloaded it for Switch, and all I can say is that I kind of wish I’d played it sooner! This game is absolutely wonderful!
I’m not going to do a full-on review of A Hat in Time here. There are plenty of those already. Instead, I’d just like to highlight just how much of a surprise this game was. I’d heard that A Hat in Time was good of course. I’ve had friends recommend it to me several time, actually. For one reason or another though I just never got around to playing it.
I never really looked into the game before playing it, and I never learned much about it beyond the fact that it’s a 3D platformer similar to Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie. I can confirm that this is indeed what A Hat in Time is, and I can also say that both of those games are probably better. BUT that’s only because both games are longer. If A Hat in Time was of a similar scale/length I think it could easily stack up to or even surpass those games!
Honestly, it’s a little hard to quantify what exactly makes A Hat in Time so much fun to play, but at least part of it comes from its art-style. The game is by no means a graphical powerhouse, but that doesn’t matter at all. It’s so colorful, bright and cheerful that the old-looking geometry actually makes it all feel even better! I love the warmth and silliness that emanates from this game, and it’s consistently there throughout. I mean, one of the bosses even sets up a shop on your ship despite being miffed about their defeat. They’re like “I’m angry, but we’re now basically friends,” and I absolutely love that about it!
Just about every music track is catchy,, with my personal favorite actually being the one from the game’s first world: Mafia Town. The writing is on point; it’s funny, obviously written to be such, and yet it never feels forced. It’s always played in a way that the characters don’t question it; this is just how they and their world are. There’s actually tricky challenges to be had for those that want them, and the movement system does a great job supporting the platforming. Seriously, moving around in A Hat in Time feels excellent, which makes exploring each unique world feel even more rewarding.
I could keep going on like this for awhile, but suffice it to say that I absolutely love A Hat in Time. It’s the kind of experience I’d hoped (and failed) to get in Yooka-Laylee. I’m glad I finally played it, and I’m kind of glad that I got to experience it now after all the DLC was released. However, I can’t help but feel a little mad at myself for sitting on it for so long. It deserves better.
Have you played A Hat in Time? What did you think?