Kid Tripp is a retro inspired 2D platformer that was originally released on iOS. It was later ported to the 3DS but now it’s made its way on to the Nintendo Switch eShop for a rather enticingly cheap price. What may surprise you, and certainly surprised me, is that Kid Tripp is an auto runner. You don’t control when your character moves, you have no choice but to move forward to the goal at the end of each stage.
You do have a little bit of control over the speed of which you move however. The default speed is fairly slow but if you press forward on the D-pad you’ll start a mini sprint. Personally, due to my diving in head first nature, I pretty much held it down the entire time. Little did I know on my first play through that, from the main menu, you can access the settings which give you three flavours of movement. There’s the default one which I just talked about, then there’s one where it is reversed so your normal speed is the sprint but can manually slow it down. Finally there’s the one deemed ‘hardcore’ and it definitely is for hardcore players. This has no sprinting whatsoever, making for some very tricky jumps and timing issues.
Did it need to be an autorunner? To be on iOS, probably, but I don’t see why there couldn’t have been an option for manual control on the Switch, at least as a bonus feature or something. As you run along the 20 stages there are of course a stupid amount of hazards and enemies in your way. There’s a nice nuance to the jumping controls which is momentum based and can be altered by how long you hold down the button, something which you will need to get used to as later levels will demand you switch from short jumps, long jumps and probably mixing between sprinted and jogging jumps too.
Despite its cutesy look, Kid Tripp is actually a really challenging game. You’re going to die a lot in the trial and error progression and even when you know what’s coming up, keeping up with the action is really intense and demanding. It’s so unforgiving. It probably needed to be too, what with its meagre hour-long play through. Going further, about half of that hour was probably spent playing the same two or three truly frustrating levels over and over again.
You have lives, but they don’t really matter at the end of the day. Getting a game over will only take your coins away, that’s all. You still continue to play the same level you failed on so it’s a little fair in that way.
To protect yourself you can lob rocks at the various generic enemies that stand in your way. You can spam this as much as you want and in the early stages, you’ll definitely want to. By the final of the four worlds though, you need to be a tad more careful about who you hit. By this point, some enemies can be very vital platforms that you need to use in order to reach places. Killing the wrong enemy could mean leading yourself to doom. Like I said, it can be a pretty brutal game.
That’s about all there is to the gameplay. It’s very simplistic but oh so challenging and, at times, highly frustrating. There’s nothing quite as soul destroying as playing the same level over and over again and dying at the exact same point every time, even when you think you’re trying something a bit different. With such limited controls it’s difficult to shake the feeling being too restrictive and unfair. When you do finally crack that soul destroying level though and finally reach the goal, there’s really no better feeling of triumph.
So it’s not the longest game in the world and replaying it will only make it shorter as you begin to master the levels. After that, there’s no real reason to keep playing. There are some internal achievements to do such as surviving a drop in the water or collecting every single coin in a level, but I didn’t get the urge to go out of my way to do them.
I think the graphics are okay, but the huge chunky pixel work doesn’t really suit the big screen TV. I often got the feeling like I wanted to move further back when I was playing it on the TV. Of course with the magic of the Switch you can play it in handheld mode which suits Kid Tripp much better. The music is okay too, but nothing special or memorable.
Overall, Kid Tripp is a fairly decent game for a cheap price. Yes, the price does match the content so be wary about that. It’s also not for the faint hearted. Those who get more frustrated by difficult trial and error gameplay may want to stay away, but those looking forward a short solid challenge will probably want to give this a try during their lunch break.
Game provided by Four Horses.