A magical homage to the golden age of N64 platform-adventures.

If there’s one genre of video games that has consistently fallen more by the wayside each and every year, it’s without a doubt those open-world platformers like Banjo Kazooie and Super Mario 64 that made gaming on the Nintendo 64 like nothing else before, or nothing else since. That is why I’m so excited to talk about A Hat in Time, because this game already looks like everything us die-hard 3D platform fans have longed for all these years, and then some.

While everyone was busy trading in rich and cartoony worlds for gritty and hyper-realistic shooters, Gears for Breakfast was hard at work crafting a gorgeous universe that you frankly just don’t see in gaming anymore. The game is fully in the spirit of those classic Nintendo and Rare platform adventures, with big and magnificent worlds to explore: for some, you can probably stop reading right there, because that’s all you need to hear to be completely sold on the idea. And this is all without even mentioning the game’s bright and sunny visuals, which look like they stepped right out of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

A Hat in Time

In the game, you play as the time-travelling Hat Kid, who dons an impressive and very stylish top hat, as she tries to collect all of the missing time pieces and put them back together before the evil Moustache Girl can. The early gameplay footage of A Hat in Time in action showcases a beautiful 3D beach resort, with gushing waterfalls, shimmering beaches, and an idle oceanfront town that instantly brings back warm and fuzzy memories of adventuring through Delfino Plaza in Super Mario Sunshine.

And of course, what would any good platform adventure game be without lots of things to find and collect along the way? Luckily, A Hat in Time also promises to be a complete “collect-a-thon,” which is sure to encourage even more open-eyed exploration of every nook and cranny in the game’s lustrous worlds. Other planned environments for the game’s five chapters include a bustling city on the side of a volcanic mountain, a spooky forest getaway, and something known simply as the “Trainwreck of Science.”

A Hat in Time

But the best part is that I’m not alone in missing the golden age of 3D platform adventures on the Nintendo 64, since A Hat in Time managed to raise almost a whopping $300,000 in Kickstarter funds (just a little bit more than its modest goal of $30,000)! The game is expected to launch somewhere around February 2014 for PC and Mac, and in the meantime, you can show the Banjo-Kazooie love letter some support by backing the project on its Steam Greenlight page.