King of the Hat is a fighting game where you die if someone steps on your hat

Hats have earned kind of a dodgy reputation in the realm of videogames. Sure, a classy chapeau can have you looking good when you're out for a night on the town, but does there really need to be so many of them in our digital diversions? But King of the Hat isn't like that. In this game, you get just one hat, and if something happens to it, well, you die. 

"Once upon a time in a far away land, there was a beautiful castle in a place called Hatlandia. Here, you were born with a sacred Hat, and if it ever got killed, the wearer would die. In Hatlandia, the Hatfolk lived peacefully," developer Hyroglyphik Games explained in the narrative setup—because that's an important part of the experience. 

"However, Hatlandia was located right next to an even older city called Business Corp. And when the Fatcats over in Business Corp. heard about these Hatlandian festivities, they decided to check them out. They showed up stinking of milk and catnip, and had such a time at the Hat Parade that they came back and killed the King. They captured the kingdom, bulldozed the Hatlandian Hills, and paved some parking lots." 

Even worse, they built a deathmatch arena where the surviving Hatlandians are forced to fight for the entertainment of the Fatcats. And that's where things get ugly and interesting. Your hat, you see, isn't just your phylactery, it's also your weapon: You can throw it to knock other players off-balance, block incoming hat throws, or just leaving it lying around as bait. So if you want to win, you're going to have to take some risks. 

King of the Hat is a "couch multiplayer" game for 2-4 people, with ten different characters, each with their own style of play and unique hat. It debuted on Kickstarter on September 8, and has already surpassed its modest $CDN 10,000 goal, meaning that it's now into stretch goal territory. First up are two new characters at $13,000, followed two new game modes at $15,000, and online play (it's currently local only, thus the "couch multiplayer" description) at $20,000.   

Even better, there's a demo available on the King of the Hat Discord, so you can get a taste of what it's all about before you start throwing any money around. The King of the Hat Kickstarter runs until November 7, and the game itself is expected to hit Early Access by the end of the year.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.