Every now and then, I look forward to seeing mobile titles hop over to the Nintendo 3DS. They not only make for fun casual experiences on their own, but I can only ever prefer using real buttons to play over the virtual buttons displayed on a mobile screen during gameplay. Kid Tripp is the latest to make it to the house of Mario, and it’s brought to it by the developer that released Digger Dan DX on it.
Our story begins with the protagonist plane-crashing into a giraffe and being chased off by a bunch of animals as a result. That’s all there is to it until an alien in a UFO shows up after the credits, hinting at a possible sequel taking place in space. Obviously, the plot is as minimal as it could possible be, and it’s not needed at all to enjoy this retro-style platformer.
The pixels are at small resolution compared to other indie platformers out there, but rest assured the game is still graphically nice and crisp. Kid Tripp is constantly in motion, and the sixty frames-per-second framerate makes it look pretty darn smooth throughout the journey. Add the busy levels and animated sprites/backgrounds to the mix and you have a visually appealing runner.
There’s a good amount of upbeat 8-Bit tracks that play during levels, and the sounds are as click-y and stimulating as any game from decades past. They probably won’t stick in your head like, say, Shovel Knight‘s soundtrack; nevertheless, they suit Kid Tripp just fine.
Kid Tripp is an auto-runner with a level-based structure. There are a total of 20 levels, split into 4 different worlds. As the titular character runs by himself, players have to jump across gaps and throw projectiles at enemies to make it to the end of each level. Each level is a barrage of enemies and platforms, but the game manages to make it feel like a fun little thrill ride. It’s always satisfying to pick up coins and kill enemies by throwing stuff or hopping on them. The game’s tight and responsive controls fit the Nintendo 3DS like a glove, and it’s generally fun (dare I say addictive?) to pick up and play the variety of levels it has to offer. There is even an amount of achievements to get replayability going for the hunters out there that can’t get enough of the game.
That isn’t to say the game doesn’t have its flaws, however. Like many auto-runners, Kid Tripp does have some instances of trial and error; for example, there’s skeletal fish that hop out of the lava in a choreographed order in a level, but you wouldn’t know that until you die after failing to jump onto them. It’s not a huge issue since levels are short and simple, but it can get annoying when some deaths aren’t really the player’s fault. Also, I’m not usually one to remark against a game’s length, but I managed to beat the game in 47 minutes despite having died over 150 times. While there are achievements, I do wish the game was at least double or triple its size in terms of level quantity; it did feel like it was over too soon. On a smaller note, if death is a slap on the wrist, why have a lives system? I think the coins could be repurposed for buying things that could help the player, like a shield or a new weapon with limited ammo.
With all that said, Kid Tripp is an enjoyable experience while it lasts. It’s certainly worth playing through to kill some time, and the achievements can help players give it some more longevity. I just think there is some room for improvement when it comes to ironing out the overall challenge and length.