The Vita has been dependent on indie games for most of the last couple of years. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing with the quality of some games we’ve seen. It’s lead to plenty of originality and a lot of affordable fun gaming. It’s also lead to a resurgence in retro styled titles, including the platformer Kid Tripp…
About Kid Tripp
Ported by Four Horses from their iOS original, it’s a hybrid platform/endless runner. Centering around the hero Miles (who also appears in the follow-up Miles and Kilo), he finds himself stranded on a strange island. With his presence there not wanted by the locals, he sets out to get off the island as quickly as possible.
What ensues is a fast-paced side-scrolling endless runner, blended seamlessly with retro styled platforming action. As well as having to navigate the ever changing terrain, you have to dodge, shoot and jump over every island resident you encounter, while collecting the obligatory coins along the way.
Unlike many indie games, you don’t have unlimited lives or respawns to help you complete Kid Tripp. You start with 10 lives and that’s it to help you get through all 20 levels. You can earn extra lives for every 100 coins you collect, but apart from that you’re on your own. Again, this use of lives harks back to the 8-bit era where players weren’t equipped with unlimited lives (unless you found a hidden cheat mode!). It does make Kid Tripp more challenging as you need to be mindful of your lives at every step of the way.
Too Much Retro
Don’t get me wrong, I love my retro games. But I think Kid Tripp may just be a bit too much for me here with the retro visuals. Graphics are intentionally chunky and quite large and – for me at least – I actually found that it detracted from the game’s appeal. For retro styled games I always ask if it looks as if it could come from the 80s or 90s. If not then something has gone awry with the styling.
But that’s not my only real gripe with it. The game also pays tribute to retro games of the 80s, following the belief that older games were much harder than games of today. And I’ll come onto that momentarily…
Playing The Game And It’s Biggest Problem
Kid Tripp is simple enough to control. Unlike most platform games, it’s scrolling continually so most of the time you’ll rely on the two main buttons for play. These control jumping and shooting to deal with errant enemies blocking your path. One other control is available to slow your run speed down making it a bit easier to see what’s coming up ahead.
The problem with the game for me really lies with the control system. Continuous movement allows for very little flexibility when it comes to jumps. Precision is needed and not being able to change direction means that timing has to be absolute. Even altering the speed still makes it feel more like an endless runner than a platform game at times. But with tough platform mechanics at the same time it just makes the game unnecessarily difficult. Truthfully speaking, if the endless runner element wasn’t present and it was just a standard platform game I don’t think it would be half as frustrating.
While I played the Nintendo Switch version for the bulk of this review, the Vita port is identical in every way with the exception of trophy support. This is the same for most indie games I’ve played on both systems, with only minor differences being evident. If games have multiplayer support the Switch has the edge, but for games with a retro look and feel there’s nothing to distinguish between versions.
While some may enjoy this type of masochistic type of platformer, personally I found it too frustrating to be fun on any level. For the sake of a minor gameplay tweak it had the potential to be far more accessible, but instead alienates all but the most hardcore of platform addicts.
Sadly unless you’re one for swearing at your Vita constantly or have the patience to persevere with the countless deaths you’ll endure, it’s one for the die-hards only.
At A Glance
- Title: Kid Tripp
- Publisher: Four Horses
- System: PS Vita
- Format: PSN Download (plus limited edition cartridge from Eastasiasoft)
- Memory Card Spare Required: Mb
- Cross Buy:
- Cross Play: N/A
- Online Multiplayer: N/A
- Local Multiplayer: N/A
- PlayStation TV Compatible: TBC