A Hat in Time is a platform action-adventure game developed by Gears for Breakfast and published by Humble Bundle. The game was developed using Unreal Engine 3 and funded through a Kickstarter campaign, which doubled its fundraising goals within its first two days. It is inspired by earlier 3D platformers such as Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and Spyro the Dragon. The game was released on the Nintendo Switch on October 18, 2019.
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. 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. 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. 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 Hat Kid revisits each area several times before the game is finished.
A Hat in Time follows Hat Kid, a little 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. 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. In a post-credits scene, Hat Kid is shown sleeping in bed surrounded by toys resembling the other characters.