The tripp is a lot of fun, while it lasts.
Kid Tripp made the trek from iOS over to the 3DS, bringing its addicting and fun gameplay alongside it. While it’s a port of a mobile game, that didn’t stop developer Four Horses from adding stereoscopic 3D to the game, bolstering the already beautiful 8-bit design. Unfortunately it’s over shortly after it begins and with limited replayability, this is likely a game you’ll pick up once or twice and see all it has to offer.
Kid Tripp is a 2D stage-based runner. You’ll consistently be moving forward, but there is an end point in each stage. The controls are easy to grasp and feel great which is important due to some tough level design. There are a number of different control options available to see what fits your play style best. Since you’re always moving forward your main focus will be jumping and attacking enemies. The length at which you press and hold the jump button dictates how far and high you’ll fly through the air. You can dispose of enemies via jumping on their heads a la Mario or by hurling rocks, both of which knock those who stand in your way off the screen. You can also increase your movement speed by either pressing right on the D-pad or by diving into the settings and toggling your speed to always run. Doing so will switch the function of the D-pad to slowing your movement down to walking pace. On top of that, there is a hardcore setting that’ll only allow you to walk, making near pixel perfect jumps necessary to progress.
The mobile DNA can really be felt in the games short level design. On any given level, a perfect run will only take about 15-25 seconds, but generally it’s going to take you more than a few tries to complete. Fortunately it does a great job of making it painless, starting you back at the beginning with very little downtime. I found that of the 20 levels, only a couple really tested my skill until I went back to collect all the coins. Each stage has coins scattered about and gathering them all nets you a medal. This is where some serious challenge presents itself, forcing you to time strategic jumps off enemies to reach coins you couldn’t possibly reach by jumping alone. It’s really rewarding to finally get all the coins and cross the finish line, but sadly after doing that there’s little more incentive to revisit levels again. There are some other challenges that might help squeeze a little more life out of it such as trying to improve your time, but they failed to really resonate with me. There’s also a somewhat arbitrary life system. You start with 10 lives and can get more by collecting 100 coins, but losing your lives and seeing a game over screen seemed pointless to me. You lose all the coins you’ve collected to that point, but outside of being tied to a single challenge, I didn’t see the point.
8-bit style graphics have become increasingly popular over the years, revisiting how games used to look, but there’s something special about 8-bit in stereoscopic 3D. The way it uses layers looks fantastic. Couple that with some charming character and enemy design and you’ve got a game that’s great to look at. Each world has its own distinct theme and it's fun to see how they play with elements to keep it looking fresh. While the music selection is limited, it doesn’t get old which is important when dealing with a game where you’ll be playing levels over and over again.
Runners aren’t generally a genre I delve too deep into, but Kid Tripp has me rethinking why I don’t. Originally pulling me in with its art direction, the real beauty of this game is in the fun and addicting gameplay. They strike a great balance of accessibility and challenge, and even give the option for players who want more of a challenge to do so. The only glaring flaw is the limited content the package has to offer. While there are some incentives to revisit levels in the form of challenges, those dry up relatively fast which left me wanting more.