A mafioso floats outside of Hat Girl's pillow-filled spaceship, miles above the planet below, adorned in a blue blazer and apron that reads "Kiss the Cook." All boats have to pay tolls in Mafia Town, even in space!”
No tribute from Hat Girlin A Hat in Time
It's one of the opening moments in A Hat in Time and sets the tone for the bizarre 3D platforming antics that follow. Seconds later, Hat Girl refuses to pay his tribute, prompting the mafioso to smash the ship's window, causing the 40 magical hourglasses powering Hat Girl's ship to crash onto the planet below, along with poor Hat Girl herself. Hat Girl later returns to use her spaceship as a hub for her adventures, taking her time to nail up the hole by hammering nails into the glass. Apparently. A Hat in Time is getting pretty weird. But it's the good kind of weirdness that puts a big, goofy grin on your face. The game has its own kind of personality, creative levels, and is reminiscent of the Nintendo 3 with its 64D platform.
The story telling
A Hat in Time does not contain much time travel. The game hardly seems interested in maintaining any sort of storytelling dynamic, let alone staying on topic. For example, a delightful adversary named Mustache Girl swears in early as an enemy but is forgotten for hours while Hat Girl is busy chatting with trench-coated crows and trading her soul to insane forest spirits.
Silly Symhonies as a game?
It's a bit like watching a series of Silly Symphonies, the early wacky Disney shorts that often had little in common other than a few recurring characters. A Hat in Time encourages this association as it introduces each new zone with a hand-drawn title card, as if instead of a platform game, a cartoon would follow. Sometimes the segments varied so much in theme and setting that you feel like you're playing completely different games.
There are the sunny, crowded lanes of Mafia Town, where lovable bullies brag about their Mafia degrees amid a colorful but largely aimless landscape that at first feels like a 3D numbers-based platformer. However, this is made up for by an exciting 2D boss fight that requires a lot of perfectly timed jumps. But Hat Girl's adventures become more focused when she ventures into a movie studio, where an owl and an Elvis-like penguin compete for prizes. Our hero stealthily avoids the gaze of crows in a sepia-toned Orient Express. Later come deep forests populated by spooky ghosts, as well as towering alpine peaks and beautiful, abstract hidden bonus zones that are mainly there to challenge your platforming skills without having to adapt to the environment, similar to Super Mario Sunshine.
In a weaker game, this extreme variety can be disconcerting due to a perceived lack of focus. The constant shifts in settings keep you interested, as do the frequent opportunities for A Hat in Times' adorable goof and occasional dark humor. As a result, there's hardly any replays aside from the fun and tight platform dance of running, jumping, collecting orbs, and traversing chasms. It only suffers from the occasionally shaky camera that seems to be the bane of almost every 3D platformer ever made. Those ingredients alone would have made for an entertaining but unsurprising 3D platformer. However, hats also play a role.
The hats in A Hat in Time
The main goal of A Hat in Time might technically be collecting all those lost hourglasses, but that's never as fun or as rewarding as finding all the scraps of yarn your hero can use to craft new hats. One could be a visor that allows her to dash through landscapes; Another might be a witch hat that allows her to concoct a concoction that she can throw like a grenade. You'll end up with so many hats that you could open a hat shop. The associated abilities encourage returning to previous zones so you can find additional hourglasses and more hats. Badges also add to the sense of discovery, granting Hat Girl perks such as B. auto-pickup of loot or a last-second parachute that the heroine can use to correct herself after a misjump.
New hats and badges
A Hat in Time is a game that becomes more and more entertaining as the levels progress. That's not just because of the excitement of discovering new hats and badges, but because the levels themselves increase in creativity, size, and rewarding challenges. A Hat in Time is almost never exactly linear, but it's definitely at its best when it gives Hat Girl a clear purpose and lets both the platforming and storyline progress. Walk past Mafia Town and you find that you can dash from door to door on a moving train, using hat abilities to search for clues and get keys that open other doors beyond precariously placed platforms. Elsewhere, you'll sneak through the labyrinthine backstage of a film set where humans are forbidden, planning your movements to avoid being seen and hit with astronomical fines for "owl harassment." The flow gives meaning to the platform and increases the fun.
The charm of A Hat in Time
"Charm" is a word too often spoken about games these days, but virtually every frame of A Hat in Time lives up to it. The game captures the spirit of early Nintendo in the power of its platform.
Aside from its creative hats and hat-based abilities, A Hat in Time never really feels like an inventive platformer. But it does its job well, even if it suffers from the occasionally awkward camera issues that 3D platformers are often known for. However, it stands out for its infectious and endearingly silly personality, its creative and vastly different levels, and its fun platform. And of course all those hats.