Miles Ahead of the Competition
By: Greg Hall Reviewed on Nintendo Switch Review Copy Provided by Four Horses Games
Created by Michael Burns & aided by UK based developer/publisher Four Horses Games, Kid Tripp was a surprise delight once it made its way to the 3DS & Nintendo Switch after being on mobile since 2013. I had thought that game was as close to perfect as it gets for a short, side scrolling, precision platformer… then it got a sequel.
Miles & Kilo came out on Steam & mobile in 2017, but it has arrived on Nintendo’s hybrid console with a bang! Everything Kid Tripp did so well has been turned up to 20 in the sequel.
After a surprisingly-non-violent plane crash, Miles & his K9 companion, Kilo, need to salvage the parts to their aircraft so they can successfully return home. Nobody said it would be easy.
That is where Miles & Kilo shines. It is hard; damn hard. Yet, it never once gets frustrating. The fun is in its tough-as-nails platforming that tests your limits without ever feeling unfair. Die? Instantly restart the level, all of which can be completed in under 45 seconds. I just wish there were more stages. It is, however, longer & bigger in almost every way than Kid Tripp.
Unlike Kid Tripp, which was an auto-runner with only options to slow down or speed up, you now have full control over Miles, so feel free to stop on a dime, run directly to the goal, take your time to plan out your next move or, get this, even go left!! Even climbing, surfing & sliding can help you get to the end of the stage! You also have a limited amount of fruit to use as a weapon, whereas Kid Tripp offered unlimited rocks to get past your enemies.
photo courtesy of MilesAndKilo.com
My preferred playstyle, especially as a speedrunner, is to find my way through each level without taking my thumb off the d-pad. The incentive (and replayability) is through the game’s level grading system. After each stage, you are given a rank between “D” & “S,” with the latter being optimal. Of the 35+ stages, I was able to “S” rank 20 of them on my first blind playthrough. I have since gone back & gotten the top rating on all stages, but that is just the beginning. You need to finish each level under the recommended time limit while gathering every coin & finishing with all five pieces of fruit unused (you can collect fruit throughout the stage to refill your supply) in order to earn the “S” rank. Increasingly hard boss battles await you at the end of each world.
photo courtesy of MilesandKilo.com
The game also offers 20 different achievements to keep you coming back. At the time of this writing, I have 19 of the possible achievements, only needing to beat the incredible Time Attack mode with less than 10 deaths.
Miles & Kilo also keeps track of your statistics, including times beaten, total coins, hours played & your best Time Attack run.
Let’s talk about that soundtrack. Chris Kukla has scored one of the best indie soundtracks in recent years, particularly the World-1 overworld & underground themes. The fast-paced chiptunes flow perfectly with the speed at which you platform, serving incredibly well to motivate you through each stage.
Kilo joins Miles on a multitude of stages, particularly in the late game. While controlling Kilo, you automatically run, so you can play the game one-handed if you’d like. The only downfall would be the way Kilo’s homing attack works. At first, it was a total turnoff, as I found myself bopping enemies over gaps only to fall to my death. Then I realized it was more of a user error than the game’s fault. After getting used to it, Kilo, while still not my favorite aspect of the game, controls great.
photo by Greg Hall
That last sentence holds true for the entire game; the controls are air tight & the enemies are never random, so mastering the game is absolutely possible.
For only $7.99, Miles & Kilo is not only the best game under $10 on the Nintendo e-shop, it is second to only Celeste as my favorite indie game on the Switch.
If you purchase Miles & Kilo before July 12, you get Kid Tripp for free! That’s right, absolutely free!!!!
Also, be on the lookout for Mick Waites of Four Horses Games on the podcast July 21 for a special bonus episode!!