Game Info:

A Hat in Time
Developed by: Gears for Breakfast
Published by: Humble Bundle
Release date: October 5, 2017
Available on: PC, Xbox One
Genre: Platformer
Number of players: Up to two
ESRB Rating: E 10+ for fantasy violence, alcohol and tobacco reference
Price: $29.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you Gears for Breakfast for sending us this game to review!

A Hat in Time was successfully Kickstarted in 2013 by raising nearly $300,000 which is substantially more than its original goal of $30,000. Because of the huge fundraising success, many stretch goals are available in the release version including split screen co-op, new game +, and two bonus chapters that will arrive later as free DLC.

The main character in this game is dubbed “Hat Kid” because she really doesn’t say much and she wears hats. Each hat she can equip grants her an ability. For example, the starting top hat will show her where her next objective is. This is handy when looking for someone of importance or locating one of the missing timepieces needed to get Hat Kid’s ship running again. The five worlds currently available are sizable and offer plenty of opportunities for exploration. Why focus on the storyline when there are so many areas to explore and orbs to collect?

Just in case you're wondering, the story is pretty basic. Hat Kid was peacefully flying in space when a mafia thug demanded that her ship pay a toll. When she refused, her ship got damaged and lost its fuel, which comes in the form of shiny hourglasses. These hourglasses landed on various planets and are quickly picked up and cherished by the inhabitants. Hat Kid must go through many obstacles to collect all of her missing timepieces.

A Hat in Time

Strong Points: Charming and fun platformer game
Weak Points: Game didn't launch properly one time
Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence with some blood; gambling; drinking; smoking; ghosts; minor language (sucks)

You’ll find many green orbs scattered around and they are used as currency to buy various badges that grant Hat Kid unique abilities. One of the badges I bought drew in orbs automatically instead of requiring her to make physical contact with them. Because a Kickstarter goal was met, there’s a voice mumble badge available as well. I enjoyed the voice acting and didn’t see a need to change it. The background music is composed by Grant Kirkhop who scored Banjo-Kazooie, one of the games that inspired A Hat in Time.

Other inspirations for this game include Super Mario 64 and Psychonauts. Like these classics, Hat Kid will have to climb, jump, double jump, and perform all sorts of maneuvers to survive the various enemies and bosses. In the beginning, Hat Kid can only jump and then attack while in the air. It doesn’t take long for her to be reunited with her trusty umbrella to whack some sense into mafia thugs and other bad guys. Some enemies require combo attacks and the bosses take many hits before they go down. Other enemies require stealth, so you'll have to stay out of their vision zones.

The boss battles are pretty intense and their attacks get harder to dodge as they get lower on health. Unfortunately, Hat Kid doesn’t have many hit points. Thankfully, health drops occur in the battle if you can get to them fast enough. Health orbs are available throughout the levels as well in case some of the unfriendly inhabitants get the better of you. There are other collectibles like vouchers which are required for opening up safes with goodies inside of them. Treasure chests are easier to open if you can find them.

A Hat in Time
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 79%
Violence - 5/10
Language - 8/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10

Each level also has some relics in them. If you combine the related relics in the space ship's hub, you'll unlock some new areas with time pieces to explore. The hub is very colorful and with all of the gadgets, it looks like a child designed it.

Visually, this game is so darn cute. The worlds are both colorful and well designed. The bright visuals are bound to attract the attention of kids and, for the most part, this game is safe for them to play. Like many classic platformers, there is cartoon violence. There is a crime scene that shows a puddle of blood though. One of the levels requires infiltrating a mafia establishment, which serves alcohol and promotes gambling. If Hat Kid has the proper currency, she can gamble too. Some of the characters smoke. Lastly, there is a haunted forest level with ghosts in it.

If you like classic platformer games, A Hat in Time is worth checking out. Don’t let the childish atmosphere fool you, this game provides plenty of challenge and even more opportunities to explore. The co-op mode is great if you have a friend nearby to join in the adventure. The Steam version will have user created content available through the Workshop. The asking price is $29.99 unless you were lucky enough to back it for $10-15 on Kickstarter.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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