Hot on the heels of the charming retro platform antics of Kid Tripp, developer Four Horses new game hopes that lightning strikes twice among 8-bit-loving Switch aficionados. But can Miles & Kilo really stand on their six legs?
Flying a plane trough rough weather is always a perilous proposition, but doing so over a haunted archipelago is probably even more ill-advised. That hasn't stopped Miles and Kilo from attempting to do so, almost immediately falling prey to a rogue specter named Ripple that forces their plane to crash and steals all the parts for good measure. Stranded and without a better plan, Miles decides to try to recover all the parts to make the plane airworthy again. It also happens to be a great excuse to begin a 36-level-long, island-themed platforming adventure.
Despite the titular duo, the game remains a single-player only affair. It is also worth mentioning that Kilo is a dog, in case you find it strange further ahead on the review why we hold him by a leash. A major departure from Kid Tripp is the ability to play with ‘autorun’. You can turn this function off, making the game play much more like a regular platformer. This also makes the game easier since you can properly take your time to accurately make those pixel perfect jumps needed to clear most levels. But if you enjoy the extra challenge, turning the feature on makes Miles constantly run towards the left, ensuring that you need some extra levels of skill to reach the safety of each level's finish line.
Controls are very simple and satisfyingly precise. The classic two-button setup is in effect here with a regular jump and attack/action combo. The more you hold jump, the higher you go. Miles attacks with fruit, but he can only hold up to five at a time. Interestingly, having them all is one of the few factors that are accounted for when your assigned rank after clearing each level (other factors include lives spent, time and number of collected coins). Kilo obviously can’t throw fruit and instead has a homing attack that locks on and allows it to lunge at enemies, covering more space and making it able to reach platforms that would be otherwise unreachable. Tight controls and smart level design make playing this an absolute delight.
Take a screenshot anytime in the game, chop it up to a 4:3 image ratio and you could easily fool people into thinking it was a Sega Master System or PC Engine video game. Despite being slightly more detailed than Kidd Tripp, the graphics remain rooted to 8-bit pixelated and primary colour beauty while chiptune music and sound effects round up the whole nostalgia effect nicely. And when your adventure comes to an end, there is still quite a lot to do if you’re a perfectionist and attempt to clear every level with an ‘S’ ranking. You will find a few difficulty spikes at some points along the adventure, but nothing as punishingly hard as something found in Celeste.
Miles & Kilo is another faux retro platforming romp landing on the Switch that adds yet another valuable choice for players looking to get their fix of the genre. It manages to be an equal parts casual and hardcore platform experience while incrementing on the already abundant charming appeal of the previous game with excellent humour.