Kid Tripp review (Vita)

After a long journey, indie favorite Kid Tripp by Four Horses Limited has made it to Playstation. Out now as a cross-buy purchase for the Vita and PS4, we checked it out on the Vita.

Kid Tripp started out as a mobile title with an iOS release way back in 2013. It’s since been released for the 3DS and Switch, but I never got to play it until it hit the Playstation store just recently. At first glance, Kid Tripp looks like a fairly generic cute 8-bit/16-bit era platformer, with visuals reminding me of Super Mario and Robocod – games I played around 1990.

Looks can be deceiving though, as Kid Tripp isn’t a standard platformer. It’s a runner with carefully crafted stages – sitting comfortably in the middle between a platformer and an endless runner. Controls are simple enough – you pretty much always run to the right, unless you press the thumbstick/pad to the left to make yourself walk slower. You also stop running when you hit an obstacle, but this is where you can press jump – tap for a small hop, hold for a bigger jump. Lastly, you can throw rocks, which helps you dispose of enemies.

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It all sounds easy enough, but Kid Tripp is really challenging from the moment you start the first world. Carefully memorizing what’s next is a key to survival, and executing moves with high levels of precision and timing is crucial as well. If you’ve passed all of the levels then there’s a hardcore mode as well, which disables running and makes timing even more crucial than it already is.

It’s a game that’s tough to master, yet there’s always a careful balance between frustration and the feeling that you can make it just a little further in a level. Get it right, and a level can be completed in under half a minute – but it’ll take you longer to get there. On the downside, once you master Kid Tripp’s levels you’ll breeze right through its limited amount of content, with few reasons to go back except for the trophies you missed (which are extremely challenging). The best reason to revisit levels is to try and grab all the coins in each and every one of them – this requires replaying old levels with new tactics and it’s fun to figure this out rather than just trying to get to the finish line.

Although later levels are a little darker, Kid Tripp’s visuals are mostly lovely and colorful to look at – with its Mario-inspired levels and a main character that reminded me of the arcade classic Pang! There is plenty of retro appeal here, and with extremely solid (though short-lived) gameplay this is a package well worth picking up for its very budget-friendly price.

Score: 7.8/10

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