I’ve been wanting to play this game since before it came out, but I never got around to buying it. Then Di, my wonderful fellow PMGer, bought it for me for Christmas! And so I binged that bad boy over the next couple of days. Wow, it was a rollercoaster.
A Hat in Time is obviously a kid’s game. It looks like a kid’s game, it sounds like a kid’s game, it plays like a kid’s game. But it plays like a good kid’s game.
You start off in the apparently peaceful world of Mafia Town, where the Mafia don’t really care about you unless you hit them first. They might pull a few pranks on you, and you can play a few pranks on them, but it’s all in good, occasionally lethal fun.
Then you move onto other worlds and meet the quirkiest of characters, some of them endearing, others enjoyably annoying, and a couple quite a bit scary.
But the best thing about this game is the actual gameplay. Traversing the worlds is fun, whether using hat powers to run faster or to magic a scooter out of thin air.
But what really surprised me was how flipping fun and varied the boss fights were. Comparing them to boss fights in much bigger and more popular games, A Hat in Time wins against most in my books.
I’m not sure if it was the nostalgia of not having played a 3D platformer in years, or if I simply just enjoyed the fricken gameplay so much that I wanted to keep playing and keep playing, but I really had the time of my life.
In fact, there was really only one time I stopped playing because I wanted to. One chapter gave me such a scare that when I subsequently quit out of the game, I teared up from shock. Thankfully, A Hat in Time has drop-in drop-out co-op! So I could go back into the chapter with Di’s help the next day.
Speaking of horror, there were a few moments where I was slightly disturbed, considering that this is supposed to be a children’s game. Like a knifed owl swimming in a pool of its own blood. And on one level there were hangman’s nooses that spoke as you used them to go to higher parts of the level.
It was very subtle, but they would say things like, “I would be honoured to be the one who squeezes the life out of you!” and “I wouldn’t mind being strapped around a cute neck like yours.” I mean, it is situated in a sort of horror world, but it didn’t quite sit well with me.
Not that you’d play A Hat In Time for its morals and life lessons. But the endgame message was pretty good. It was basically ‘if you took out all the bad guys in the world, there would be no one left’.
Throughout the game there was a general positivity towards everyone, including the bosses. And I really appreciated Hat Kid’s compassion for everyone, even when they had wronged her or others. It was quite refreshing.
In short, this is easily one of my favourite games of all time. I seriously, seriously recommend this one.