A Hat in Time

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A Hat in Time
A Hat in Time logo.png
Developer(s)Gears for Breakfast
Publisher(s)Humble Bundle[a]
Director(s)Jonas Kærlev
  • Jonas Kærlev
  • Aaron Lomas
Programmer(s)Jonas Kærlev
  • Jenna Brown
  • William T. Nicholls
  • Luigi Lucarelli
  • Sieger Vink
  • Jonas Kærlev
  • Aaron Lomas
Composer(s)Pascal Michael Stiefel
EngineUnreal Engine 3
ReleasemacOS, Windows
  • WW: October 5, 2017
PlayStation 4
  • NA: December 5, 2017
  • EU: December 6, 2017
Xbox One
  • WW: December 7, 2017
Nintendo Switch
  • WW: TBA
Genre(s)Platform, action-adventure
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

A Hat in Time is a platform action-adventure video game developed by Gears for Breakfast for macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.[1][2][3] The game was developed using Unreal Engine 3 and funded through a Kickstarter campaign, which doubled its fundraising goals within its first two days.[4] It is inspired by earlier 3D platformers such as Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and Psychonauts.[5][6] The game was self-published for Microsoft Windows and macOS in October 2017, and by Humble Bundle for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles two months later.[7][8] A Nintendo Switch port will be released at a later date.


A Hat in Time is a platform action-adventure game set in an open world environment and played from a third-person perspective. The gameplay style has been described by several editors to be similar to Nintendo 64 platformers such as Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie.[9][10] The player travels between four open levels, which can be freely explored without time limits. The player can collect various items, solve puzzles, and use an umbrella to combat enemies. The primary objective is to collect "Time Pieces", 40 of which can be found in the game, which unlock additional levels as more are collected.[11] After being defeated, the enemies drop "Pons", currency that can be used to unlock additional challenges and purchase badges that increase Hat Kid's abilities.[12] The player can collect Yarn Balls in each level, which can be stitched into new hats to wear. Each hat grants Hat Kid a different ability, such as a faster sprint or brewing explosive potions. Other collectibles include "Relics", which can be used to unlock "Time Rift" bonus levels, and "Rift Tokens", which can be exchanged at a machine for bonus materials such as music remixes and additional cosmetics. Initial actions taken earlier in the game have an effect on later levels, as the main character revisits each area several times before the game is finished.[5]


A Hat in Time follows Hat Kid, a young alien girl trying to return to her home world via spaceship. While on her journey, she passes over a planet, and a member of the planet's Mafia comes to collect a toll for the Mafia Town government. When Hat Kid refuses to pay, the Mafia man busts the spaceship door open, causing Hat Kid and all of her "Time Pieces", magical hourglasses that power her ship, to fall to the planet below. Hat Kid lands in Mafia Town and meets Mustache Girl, a local troublemaker who hates "bad guys". Mustache Girl agrees to look for the missing Time Pieces in exchange for Hat Kid's help fighting the Mafia, and the two defeat the Mafia Boss. When Mustache Girl realizes the Time Pieces can rewind time, she wants to use them to become a time-traveling superhero, but Hat Kid refuses due to the dangers of manipulating time. Angered, Mustache Girl declares the two enemies and sets off to find the Time Pieces on her own.

Hat Kid ventures across the planet looking for Time Pieces and encounters many foes, including two rival bird directors DJ Grooves and the Conductor competing for a movie award, a malevolent spirit called the Snatcher who steals Hat Kid's soul, and a group of mountain villagers called Nomads infected by a dangerous plague, ultimately befriending them all. While Hat Kid is exploring, Mustache Girl breaks into her ship and steals her Time Pieces, using them to turn the planet into a fiery inferno where her word is law. Hat Kid confronts her, but Mustache Girl uses the Time Pieces to open a time rift and make herself all-powerful. The enemies Hat Kid has fought come to her aid in battle, some of which destroy themselves so that Hat Kid can use the Pons they drop to power herself up. Hat Kid finally defeats Mustache Girl and uses the Time Pieces to restore the planet to normal and revive all those who were lost. Afterwards, the player can then choose whether Hat Kid should hand over a Time Piece to Mustache Girl for protection or not. Though her former foes are sad to see her leave, Hat Kid restores the Time Pieces to her vault and resumes her voyage home.[13][14]


The initial idea for A Hat in Time was started by director Jonas Kærlev, who launched the project as an answer to his feeling of an ongoing shortage of 3D platformers, specifically developed by Nintendo. Some inspirations include Psychonauts, Paper Mario, and Banjo-Kazooie. In an interview with Polygon, Kærlev revealed that he and Gears for Breakfast initially did not expect the Kickstarter success A Hat in Time eventually received. Kærlev thought that there would be little demand for the game due to Donkey Kong 64's effects on the genre, which he perceived as overwhelming the player with too much collecting.[15] Development for the game started in August 2012 and was planned for a Q2 2013 release but has been significantly delayed. At the start of development, Kærlev was the sole developer of the game but over time the development grew into Gears for Breakfast, a team spanning four countries and entirely volunteer-based.[5][15] Through the Kickstarter campaign the game surpassed the initial goal of $30,000 with a final total of $296,360.[1] In July 2013, it was announced that the game had been greenlit for release via Steam.[16] Several guest composers contributed tracks to the game, including Grant Kirkhope. In March 2018, a free update was released for A Hat in Time adding support for mods which can be shared via the Steam Workshop.[17] A downloadable expansion, "Seal the Deal", is set for release on PC on September 13, 2018. The expansion adds a new Arctic Cruise level, six additional time rifts, and a new "Death Wish" mode that features several difficult challenges to complete. Alongside "Seal the Deal", an update will be released that adds local two-player cooperative gameplay, with a second player able to simultaneously control new character Bow Kid throughout the entire campaign.[18]

A port of the game for Nintendo's Wii U console was in the developer's minds ever since the Kickstarter's announcement, considering that the game is heavily inspired by Nintendo-published platformers, but actual development did not materialize. Upon various requests for it to be ported for the Nintendo Switch, Gears For Breakfast initially claimed on Twitter that such a port will not happen, which was met with mixed reactions.[19][20] However, during Gamescom in August 2018, a Nintendo Switch port was confirmed alongside the announcement of the game's forthcoming DLC.[21]


A Hat in Time received "generally favorable" reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[22]

Chris Carter from Destructoid gave the game an 8.5 out of 10, calling it an "impressive effort with a few noticeable problems holding it back".[23] PC Gamer's Dominic Tarason rated the game 86/100 saying, "Some scuff-marks aside, A Hat in Time is a creative, playful, and polished tribute to a genre that doesn't get nearly enough love on PC."[24] Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of The Escapist was highly positive towards the game, deeming it his 2nd favorite game of 2017.[25]


Two weeks after its release, A Hat in Time had sold 50,000 copies.[26] By July 2018, the game had sold over 500,000 copies.[27]


The game was nominated for "Best PC Game" in Destructoid's Game of the Year Awards 2017,[28] for "Best Platformer" in IGN's Best of 2017 Awards,[29] and for "Game, Original Family" at the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards.[30][31]


  1. ^ PC versions were self-published by Gears for Breakfast
  1. ^ a b "ANNOUNCEMENT: A Hat in Time coming to PS4 and XBOX ONE this Fall!". Kickstarter. July 26, 2017. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  2. ^ "Meet the Team". A Hat in Time. Gears for Breakfast. Archived from the original on October 2, 2015. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  3. ^ Toyad, Jonathan (June 2, 2013). "Denmark studio opens Kickstarter for A Hat in Time". GameSpot. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Richard (May 30, 2013). "A Hat in Time winds up on Kickstarter, wakes memories of games gone by". Engadget (Joystiq). Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Matulef, Jeffrey (November 16, 2012). "A Hat in Time channels Wind Waker's aesthetic for a PC and Mac platformer". Eurogamer. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  6. ^ "A Hat in Time - Quirky 3D Platformer!". Gears for Breakfast. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  7. ^ Campbell, Evan (February 9, 2017). "Humble Bundle Becomes a Games Publisher". IGN. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  8. ^ Glagowski, Peter (November 27, 2017). "A Hat in Time lands on PS4 and Xbox One next week". Destructoid. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  9. ^ Hernandez, Patricia (May 30, 2013). "It Looks Like Wind Waker and Plays Like Super Mario 64. Fantastic". Kotaku. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  10. ^ Petitte, Omri (November 16, 2012). "A Hat in Time is a collect-a-thon platformer with familiar roots". PC Gamer. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  11. ^ Cook, Dave (May 30, 2013). "A Hat in Time: Kickstarter platform game gives off a Wind Waker vibe". VG247. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  12. ^ Ba-oh, Jorge (July 3, 2013). "Interview: Gears for Breakfast Talk A Hat in Time". Cubed3. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  13. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (May 31, 2012). "Wind Waker-esque platformer A Hat in Time soars on Kickstarter". Eurogamer. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
  14. ^ Hancock, Patrick (January 17, 2013). "A Hat in Time needs to be on your radar". Destructoid. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
  15. ^ a b McElroy, Griffin (June 9, 2013). "A Hat in Time hopes to atone for the platforming sins of Donkey Kong 64". Polygon. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  16. ^ "Sixteen More Titles Greenlit Today". Steam. July 24, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  17. ^ Frank, Allegra (March 13, 2018). "Lovely platformer A Hat in Time celebrates free modding update with quick sale". PC Gamer. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  18. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_I1GrvzxQQ
  19. ^ Reseigh-Lincoln, Dom (February 12, 2018). "A Hat In Time Developer Confirms The Time Travel Platformer Won't Leap Onto Switch". Nintendo Life. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  20. ^ Carter, Chris (February 12, 2018). "A Hat In Time is definitely not coming to Switch, despite hope". Destructoid. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  21. ^ Makedonski, Brett (August 20, 2018). "Yep, you guessed it: A Hat in Time is coming to Switch". Destructoid. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  22. ^ "A Hat in Time for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  23. ^ Carter, Chris (October 3, 2017). "Review: A Hat in Time". Destructoid. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  24. ^ Tarason, Dominic (October 11, 2017). "A Hat in Time Review". PC Gamer. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  25. ^ Croshaw, Ben (January 3, 2018). "ZERO PUNCTUATION Top 5 of 2017". The Escapist. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  26. ^ @HatInTime (October 18, 2017). "A Hat in Time has officially sold 50,000 units" (Tweet). Retrieved October 18, 2017 – via Twitter.[dead link]
  27. ^ @HatInTime (July 26, 2018). "Half a million units sold" (Tweet). Retrieved July 26, 2018 – via Twitter.
  28. ^ Carter, Chris (December 12, 2017). "Nominees for Destructoid's Best PC Game of 2017". Destructoid. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  29. ^ "Best of 2017 Awards: Best Platformer". IGN. December 20, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  30. ^ "Nominee List for 2017". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  31. ^ "Horizon wins 7; Mario GOTY". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.

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