Indie Spotlight: A Hat in Time

Released back in 2017, A Hat in Time by Gears for Breakfast made a huge hit on Kickstarter as a return to the old days of 3D platformers. In fact, it was such a big hit, that it reached its fundraising goal in merely two days. So it’s no surprise that when the full game released, it very quickly gained traction with casual players and streamers alike.

The concept of the game is that you play as a young girl only ever known as “The Hat Kid.” Not a lot of history is given to the Hat Kid’s backstory or what she does, but we start out the story on what is presumably her very own spaceship which is powered by a pile of magic hourglasses. Suddenly, a knock on the window catches the Hat Kid’s attention as there is a large bald man clinging to the ship. How he got there? Who knows! This game is full of rather zany moments such as this one. When she goes to check on this man clinging to her ship, he states how he works for the mafia and she must pay him a toll. When she refuses, he breaks a whole in the window creating a vacuum that sucks the Hat Kid out of her ship along with all of her hourglasses. Now she must travel around this crazy world and collect the hourglasses known as “Time Pieces” to fuel her ship and be able to get back home.

Click to buy the Switch version

However, conflict comes when the Hat Kid meets another girl known as “Mustache Girl” for the big blonde mustache she has. At first the two of them team up to fight the mafia and regain the Time Pieces, until Mustache Girl finds that they contain the power to manipulate time itself. She goes on a rant about wanting to use these pieces to change the past and destroy all of the villains and bad guys of this world before they can cause any damage, but Hat Kid knows that using the Time Pieces for personal gain would be wrong no matter how good the intentions are. And so the Mustache Girl becomes your rival and the antagonist of the story.

Throughout the game you’ll collect new hats that unlock special powers allowing you to take on new levels in a few different worlds including a film production studio, a haunted forest, and a high mountain of mingling elements.

Click to buy Ultimate Edition for Steam

The gameplay is generally smooth, with a few minor bugs that are common in 3D platformers. The platforming can be greatly satisfying when you pull off a series of jumps, dives, and grapples in sequence. The characters are wonderfully written and fun, I couldn’t find a single character that I really disliked in the game. The DLC is also very worthwhile as it opens up two entirely new worlds that are full to the brim with exploration potential as well as extra challenges for those that may find the game a tad too easy. Combat in the game is a very small mechanic as you’re often either solving puzzles or platforming and most of the combat comes in the form of boss fights which are generally fairly quick paced, invigorating, and incredibly fun and satisfying. I highly recommend checking out the game if you haven’t yet, although it is short it can offer a good amount of replayability!

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