A while back, I covered Kid Tripp for the 3DS and eventually the Nintendo Switch. I thought it was an enjoyable experience while it lasted, albeit a rather short game with a couple of quirks in its auto-runner design that I feel could have been ironed out a bit more. Still, ever since creator Michael Burns released its sequel, Miles & Kilo, on Steam, I waited for the inevitable Switch port to happen. My wish was granted by the power of Four Horses and now I have it comfortably sitting among all the other digital junk on my Switch.
The game mysteriously ditches the brief cliffhanger seen in Kid Tripp‘s ending (where the protagonist bumps into an alien UFO). In its place is an adventurer and his dog finding themselves stranded on a seemingly haunted island. A ghost and four other evildoers tore apart their plane and it’s up to the duo to retrieve the stolen parts so they can fly out of there. That’s all there is to the premise but the cutscenes do like to throw out a few chuckleworthy quips here and there.
Although Miles & Kilo sticks with its retro game look, the sprites are generally a better resolution. I would say it looks more like a late NES game than a colored Game Boy game catering to the small screen. Everything is a little bit crisper this time around and it is a pretty game.
What does bother me a bit, though, is that most of the environments are still the same as in the original game. The only new world is the ruins and even then it uses tiles from the grasslands. In fact, the last world is a volcanic lava land complete with the last level being a lava chase just like before! It would’ve been nice to have fresher level themes for a change.
As you could expect from a game relying on pixel art, Miles & Kilo has a soundtrack that wouldn’t be out of place from the days of the NES. It’s a bigger headbanger than before; I caught on to some pieces as I was playing through the game and bopped my head along for a little while. I don’t really remember the songs as I’m writing the review but I’m sure they’ll come back to me quickly if I replay the game. That’s more than I could say for certain other games I’ve reviewed.
Miles & Kilo is a slick 2D platformer where you play through a series of short levels. Although it sticks closely with the simple formula Kid Tripp established, Miles no longer runs automatically. Well, provided he isn’t in a minecart, on a surfboard, or hanging onto Kilo’s leash for dear life. Even then, the game still likes to nudge the player into wanting to run without stopping anyway. The levels are structured in a very similar manner to Kid Tripp but in a way that doesn’t often rely heavily on its choreography.
That’s not to say it doesn’t refrain from creating any frustrating moments that way, however. There are about two levels that amp this up to the point of exhaustion if you don’t already know all the timings for it. Because the levels last 30-40 seconds long, though, it’s not like you won’t be able to figure things out eventually. The life system from the previous game is also gone which is good since it was rather undermined to begin with.
Even if the control sometimes gets confined to an auto-runner format, Miles & Kilo still tries making the most of its simple mechanics. Throwing fruit at enemies and jumping around feels fun and responsive. Kilo’s homing attack is borrowed directly from Sonic but I enjoy using it anyway because bouncing off of enemies is satisfying. However, I feel like the game could have gone further with its improvements in general.
Miles & Kilo overall comes off as the kind of game that my mind switches back and forth between “This is a great step up from the original” and “This doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from the original”. As such, I’d say I recommend it about as much as I do recommend Kid Tripp. It’s a good game all things considered, if short and uneven in a few areas. You should probably act fast if you’re on the fence, though; from now until July 12th, Kid Tripp is completely free if you buy this game.
Review copy provided by Four Horses