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Trip World

Since the dawn of the genre, there have been no lack of adorable heroes to grace platformers. From Kirby to Tails and everyone in between, these were a major factor in marketing such games to the masses. One attempt by Sunsoft to toss their hat in the ring was Trip World for the original Gameboy. However, it doesn’t seem like they were eager for mass appeal because the game is extremely rare. This is because only receiving a limited release in Europe and Japan.

Starring a cute little creature named Yakopoo, he’s on a mission to retrieve the Maita Flower. It was been stolen from his world, consequently driving all of his friends insane. Now they’ve become violent and Yakopoo must fight his way through them and all of the other challenges that the game throws at him in order to restore peace and tranquility to the land.

One thing that Yakopoo has going for him that will help make all of this possible is the fact that he’s a shapeshifter. When he’s in his normal cutesy creature mode, he runs and jumps like your average platformer protagonist with the added ability of being able to kick his enemies. Interestingly, he can usually stand on these creatures’ heads or balance them on his on head without taking damage, helping him to get to some hard to reach areas this way. Another of Yakopoo’s main forms allows him to either fly briefly, though he quickly succumbs to gravity while doing this. Finally, he has a form that helps him swim better as well. He can also occasionally dawn other forms when eating specific fruit that players will come across during the game. These can allow him to shoot projectiles, turn into a bouncy ball, and other such abilities.

Levels themselves are fairly large, at least as far as portable games of the time go. For the most part, they tend to be linear. There are the occasional secret passages and tucked away areas that players can stumble across, though. Each area will have its own theme, be it hills, a forest, some ruins or what have you. Everything then culminates with a big boss fight at the end of each stage.

For the most part, the game isn’t terribly hard. A lot of enemies can be dealt with via a few good, swift kicks in the butt, though there are some tricky baddies out there that will take some work to defeat. Bosses are much tougher, of course, with more involved attacks and patterns that players will need to figure out in order to get past.

Graphically, the game has a very cute look to it, as was common at the time. Some of the visuals are actually reminiscent of something one might find in a Kirby game. Everywhere players go, they’re likely to stumble across some adorable monsters that one might be more inclined to hug than to fight. It’s also worth noting that the level of detail achieved in Trip World’s graphics is spectacular. It really does blow most other Gameboy games out of the water in that regard, and deserves special mention for this. Trip World also has a very good soundtrack with a number of catchy tunes full of memorable melodies.

There are a lot of platformers out there, so finding one that stands out can take some looking around. Trip World manages this quite well with all of the different forms that Yakopoo can take, making combat and traversing the game’s levels a lot more interesting. Wrapping everything up in an adorable aesthetic is just icing on the cake, making this a wonderful obscure platform.

- IroIro
July 25, 2019
Developer: SunSoft
Publisher: SunSoft
Genre: Platformer
Platform: Gameboy
Released: 1992

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