Trip World DX (1992/2023, Game Boy/Nintendo Switch)

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Trip World DX (1992/2023, Game Boy/Nintendo Switch)

Postby RatsTheDonkey » March 23rd, 2024, 1:20 pm

Its not every day that you can play an OG Game Boy game that never saw the light of day in the US (only Japan and Europe got it), so getting to play Sunsoft/Yuichi Ueda's TRIP WORLD (1992) is a real treat. The original cartridge release is one of the rarest games for the handheld, so I'm glad that Limited Run brought it to the Switch eShop, while adding an option to play the game in color while sandwiching in some nice--if sparse--extras (among them are some insightful mini-interviews with the games creator)!

Trip World is a seemingly typical side-scrolling "Point A To Point B" platformer akin to Gimmick! or Kirby's Dreamland (which were released the same year), but with a rather unconventional twist: combat is almost entirely optional! In fact, the game actually rewards players points for good platforming and planting flower seeds and not for killing non-boss enemies! The game also eschews the platformer cliche of Collision Damage; almost none of the enemies will hurt by mere contact. See, creator Yuichi Ueda took inspiration from Sunsoft's Gimmick! (a well made but also quite difficult game) and purposefully made Trip World a relaxing game that a player didn't necessarily have to focus on completing in order to have fun. Sunsoft gave Ueda and his team significant creative freedom when making the game, and it shows.

You play as a cute little chinchilla like creature named Yakapoo, who can kick enemies around and has the ability to transform into an airplane or a fish on the spot. He can also grab/combine various temporary power-ups along the way, such as a ball transformation, a flower that lets him pacify enemies, and a tall version of himself that shoots lasers! Certain powers can even be combined to reveal secrets! As said, the player can choose whether to attack or ignore enemies. Most enemies are already docile, though be wary of which ones you provoke! The game can actually get harder if you choose the combat route! The boss fights in the game are infrequent and generally unremarkable, but they help to break up the action. The play control is excellent: Yakapoo is a snap to move around and transform, and the physics of him sliding down a slope and somersaulting off is so satisfying!

Trip World is a rather short and easy game (only 5 levels, all of which can be finished in minutes, and the title screen flat out lets you use the level select by pressing the Select button) which could easily be a deal breaker, but it excels in charm and presentation. Whether you play it in B&W or in color, the graphics are some of the best of any Game Boy game. The opening stage, Mt. Dubious, starts with a lavish layer of clouds that Yakapoo can walk through! The character sprites are very well animated and super appealing to look at. Each level has lavish backgrounds and textures with just enough detail to sell you on this kooky little world. Also of note is that Trip World has a staggering variety of creatures, many of which can only be found in specific areas of the game, and many of them display distinct behaviours, especially if Yakapoo messes with them. It's amazing how much stuff they were able to cram into such a tiny GB cart! The levels themselves have a fair amount of variety in set pieces too. My favorite is the castle stage at the end! While mostly linear, they provide a couple alternate routes and side areas. I also have to point out that the game has an astonishing amount of secrets hidden in it--world 2 in particular has a rather fun but well hidden secret that the player has to skillfully speed run the level in a certain way to achieve! (I won't tell you how to get it!) Trip World certainly can't be accused of lacking creativity or replay value!

The music score also deserves praise--composed by one of the musicians who worked on the Mega Man games, its a very catchy album that sounds so good that you'd swear it was from an NES game, not a Game Boy game! World 3 and 4 in particular are some of the jazziest catchiest tunes of any GB game!

Trip World is not a game for everyone: some gamers may be put off by its tame challenge and cutesy visuals. But it is worth playing through at least once, and even more if a player wants to find all of the surprises hidden in it!


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Re: Trip World DX (1992/2023, Game Boy/Nintendo Switch)

Postby Stalvern » March 24th, 2024, 2:40 am

I love what little of this game there is. Wish it had at least twice as much content.

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