In my life I have always seemed to steer away from the great platformers like Sly Cooper and Banjo Kazooie. I’ve never figured out why, seeing as I own them all but I’ve never been able to sit down and get through them. I love the concept, the collectables, the nostalgia and the look of the games.
A Hat in Time from Gears for Breakfast has given me another chance at these types of games. The adorable platformer is now on the Nintendo Switch and it seems like it has found a perfect spot. This is the type of game you want to take with you and play as you’re on the bus or in a waiting room or dare I say it, in class.
You play as a young woman flying around in her space ship, you’re doing your thing when you accidentally fly into Mafia territory. Suddenly there’s one Mafia man stuck to your ship asking for a toll, you fend him off but not without damaging your ship. This causes all the fuel you have collected to get sucked out of your ship and littered all over the planet.
Losing all of your fuel or “Time Pieces” causes you to take refuge in the atmosphere of Mafia Planet and search for your missing gas. Here you battle different Mafia men, that all look strangely similar and befriend another young girl, Mustache Girl. Yes, this girl has a mustache that would put Justin Bieber’s to shame, which is pretty gross.
Together they join forces to take on the Mafia, and their planet, to get all of the fuel back. After a minor set-back Mustache Girl become our heroine’s mortal enemy, a twist I didn’t see coming. Seeing as this is a platformer I knew the story wasn’t going to be tear-jerking or anything, I mean how many times did we rescue that damn princess?
The controls are pretty good on my Switch Lite, it doesn’t feel awkward and neither does it get in the way of my enjoyment. To crouch you press ZR but when you need to jump long distances you press ZR in midair to make it across those long gaps. You’ll be pressing B a lot to jump and Y to punch. For some reason, pressing X makes the camera look up, but I’ve yet to determine how that helps me play the game.
R corrects the camera for you if you get all messed up. ZL is your hat’s ability, as you progress through the game you get yarn, certain numbers of yarn allow you to create hats with special abilities that let you unlock more in the world. As you unlock things in the world you unlock portions of your ship that allow you to go to other planets where you find more of your missing fuel or “Time Pieces.” You also have to gather as much money as you can because there are “Time Rifts” and money can unlock levels that let you get to the picture of the “Time Rift.”
The levels are varied quite well, some can really get you in a bind. For me, stealth is one of the worst mechanics to find in a game. Thankfully there weren’t too many levels like that for me, but at least the game allows you some nice checkpoints so you don’t have to re-do a lot of the level. I enjoyed running around these worlds and finding what my new hats could do.
I got the Witch Hat which allowed me to throw explosions which means back to older levels to open up more and gain more yarn for even more hats! What really is disappointing with the title is the insanely long load times. When I was jumping from my ship to the worlds it seemed like several minutes of loading for my Switch Lite. The entire level was loaded in though, so I wouldn’t have to wait while playing, so there’s a bonus for all the prior waiting.
The bosses in this game were all unique and had some interesting mechanics to beat, but were very enjoyable. The grunts, however, were all the same, which was probably a smart idea from the development team to get the game going. This game just bleeds nostalgia and the choices that Gears for Breakfast made really let that nostalgia flow, and I’m not a platformer guy.
This game has A LOT of content, my God I was so overwhelmed I didn’t know what level I should conquer first once I opened some of the doors in my ship. Oddly enough you have to play the same somewhat out of order to gain the hats you need to progress in prior levels.
You don’t beat a world and then go onto the next one like in usual fashion. A Hat In Time has you have multiple worlds open for you to explore and find your missing “Time Pieces.” I enjoyed my time with the game, but with so much to do I find myself trying to do everything at once and eventually put them down.
This is why I’ve never beaten Banjo or Super Mario 64, I simply cannot keep my attention to the game because of how much there is to do. Usually having too much to do in a game is a good thing, but with platformers it just makes me shut it off. If you love older platformers that I mentioned or are a huge fan of game that will melt your heart with nostalgia then, by all means, grab this for your Switch, you will not regret it.
What’s your favorite platformer? Do you think A Hat In Time could be a game for you? Let us know in the comment section below.
A Hat In Time
A platformer that takes cues from Sly Cooper and Banjo Kazooie, but does it fit in for this generation?
- The graphic upgrade looks amazing
- The look of this game reminds me of N64 era platformers
- Kids will have a great time with this game, but as the parent you'll have to help occasionally.
- Loading times are SO long!
- Some of the platforming can be challenging which gets frustrating in a kiddies game.
- Story is somewhat meh, but it is a platformer