Review: Trip World (3DS eShop / GB)

Bad trip?

Sunsoft made a ton of great games for Nintendo systems back in the day. Everybody knows the likes of Blaster Master and the NES Batman game, but they also had a ton of equally great games which people simply didn't find out about. We've already had some, like Ufouria: The Saga and Lock 'N Chase, but thankfully it's continuing its support, now with perhaps one of its least well-known games.

In Trip World, you play as a strange creature called Yakopoo, who has to recover his tribe's stolen flower to prevent the villagers from fighting each other. The game shares a lot of similarities with the Kirby games: it's an action platformer in which you can gain special abilities or even transform completely, with a fairly low difficulty level. It's fairly straightforward, easily avoidable enemies, short stages and cute graphics, with only a minimal number of split paths that generally lead to health or power-ups only.

But Trip World does differ slightly in the gameplay department. Yakopoo has no air sucking ability, and thus cannot simply harness the powers of enemies by inhaling them. To get special abilities, you'll have to find special items lying around and pick them up, which will temporarily grant you the ability to turn into a ball that can bounce around, the ability to tailwhip or other such things. There aren't many different abilities, but as the game is fairly short that might be a good thing, otherwise it would be very possible you would see most of them only once and then never again.

When you're not using a special ability, Yakopoo's only means of self defence is a very, very short-ranged kick which does very little damage and, obviously, requires you to get in close to enemies. You thankfully don't die in one hit, so if you have some health to spare you might be able to take this risk, but generally it's better to simply try and avoid enemies when not powered up.

The default Yakopoo can also transform into two different forms by holding up or down and pressing the attack button. Up turns him into an upward-flying helicopter, but you only gain height if you go forward at the same time, limiting its use to wide open rooms. Pressing down and transforming will turn you into a fish form, which is handy in the game's pre-requisite water stage.

These mechanics are all fine, although the physics take some getting used to, but unfortunately it all suffers a bit by the game being very short and, aside from the last few bosses, very easy. In this regard, it's a bit similar to Sunsoft's Mr. Gimmick, an NES game to which Trip World is sometimes considered a spiritual successor.

The big difference is that although Mr. Gimmick has a completely different main gameplay element, it is actually pretty challenging, is quite a bit longer and has many secrets to find and collect. Trip World only has five stages lacking any hidden goodies, and with nothing left to do after finishing them, all you'll be able to do is simply admire the game's admittedly impressive graphics and music — two more traits it shares with Mr. Gimmick — some more.

Conclusion

Trip World is, at its best, a decent action platformer, and not much more. It has some impressive, detailed spritework and music, and offers some mildly entertaining gameplay, but because of its incredibly short length and lack of difficulty we would advise you to be a bit cautious about purchasing it. Instead, what you should do is hope that Sunsoft releases Mr. Gimmick! on Wii Virtual Console, as it does everything much better.