While everyone is waiting for the next big Mario game, it’s easy to forget that there are already some great platformers like Gears for Breakfast’s A Hat in Time making their colorful appearance.
Comparisons to Nintendo’s mascot might be a bit distracting, because the story about a young girl with a top-hat trying to find her missing Time Pieces, the fuel for her space-ship, has more in common with Double Fine Productions’ seminal Psychonauts, a mixture of adventure and jump-and-run gameplay with vibrant worlds full of bizarre characters and different mission goals.
The announcement trailer doesn’t do the game justice, as the additional ones do a much better job of revealing how varied the individual worlds are. For example, Murder on the Owl Express is like a detective game, so one has to find clues and interrogate suspects, while The Big Parade turns the Hat Kid into a band marshal who has to lead her companions through the level, and Dead Bird Studio puts the player through different movie scenes. If the originality on display could match Double Fine’s output or any of the N64 classics like Super Mario 64 or Banjo-Kazooie the indie company cites as inspiration, then this could be something very special indeed. Of course it’s not always about jumping around, because one can stitch new hats that unlock various abilities which can further be enhanced with badges one finds, buys from or trades with the locals. Add a fantastically cheerful soundtrack with very nice-looking graphics, and you might just have one of the surprise platformer hits of the year.
The game is out now on PC, but will also be released on PS4 and Xbox One soon. A post-release patch should also offer the opportunity to play a split-screen co-op mode, which should be a lot of fun. If you can’t get enough of the music, then you can buy the soundtrack separately, too. What I’m a bit concerned about is that 2 additional worlds will arrive later as free DLC as a Kickstarter stretch goal, something that reminds me of the Rad Rodgers: World One practice. Hopefully, the story will find a suitable ending without alienating customers…
If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every LIKE or comment is appreciated on EMR’s Facebook page or FS’s Facebook page :). Or FOLLOW the blog on EMR’s Twitter page.
Using the GOG links and buying the products also helps ;).