Trip World is an odd little game. A platformer in the vein of Kirby, you play as a cute little rabbity thing (maybe it’s a lagomorph) traveling through five worlds to defeat the bad guys, recover the thing and restore peace to the land. You know the drill. Trip World’s main gimmick is that your character (called Yacopu) has different transformations you can use to progress through the level, but none of them are taken to their full potential.
Your main form attacks by kicking but the attack range is so small you have to be standing right next to your enemy to hit them which opens you to counterattack, especially during boss battles. On the plus side, enemies only hurt you when they attack so you can even walk on enemies or balance them on your head without taking damage. In fact, as far as I can tell, a lot of the “enemies” have no form of attack whatsoever.
You also have a flying form that can be selected by pressing up + B and a fish form that can be selected with down + B. The flying form not only doesn’t have any attacks, it can’t even walk and if you bump into anything, you’ll spiral back to the ground. This happened sometimes when I didn’t even touch anything and I’m not sure why. The fish form swims during the one water segment of the game and can attack enemies with bubbles, but otherwise just flops on the ground and is completely useless.
You can activate additional forms with power-ups. One form causes a flower to grow Yacopu’s head and allows you to flick seeds at enemies that will cause a flower to sprout from their heads and make them pause for a short period. Another power-up turns Yacopu into a ball, allowing you bounce much higher than your normal jump, but the ball form is hard to maneuver when you need precision so it’s as much of a hinderance as it is a help.
The tail power-up is the most useful. Yacopu grows a tail you can attack enemies with at a distance, and I think the game would have been a lot more fun if you just had this form as the default. There’s also a mini power-up that shrinks your character but doesn’t do anything else. And apparently there’s a “big” form you can get by collecting a second power-up while in tail form that shoots instant-kill fireballs that even work on bosses; however, I never got the chance to try it out on my playthrough.
You’re given four lives each of which can take four points of damage. There aren’t any continues or extra lives, but you can press Select on the menu to choose different levels (five in total) and even choose which checkpoint in the level to start at. It’s a nice touch.
The level design is very basic and you shouldn’t have any trouble getting through them, but between Yacopu’s slow movement speed and wimpy attack range, some of the bosses are nearly impossible without the tail power-up.
The art and music in Trip World are highlights. All of the characters are very cute, and all of Yacopu’s transformations are animated instead of just blinking between forms. Robby the Robot even makes a cameo in one level. Each level has multiple different themes for different segment and for Game Boy music they aren’t bad. Nothing you’ll remember once the game is over, but nice all the same. One odd thing to note is that when Yacopu dies, it has the same exact sound effect and animation as Mega Man for some reason.
Trip World has a lot of neat ideas and I wish it received a sequel to more fully develop them, but as it stands, the game just isn’t very good. You can complete it in under an hour, so if you enjoy cute platformers, it’s worth giving a play just to see the animations. Just don’t expect anything more substantial than a fun little distraction.
Final Rating: 2.5/5