When I went to this year’s EGX in September, I was lucky enough to meet Michael Waites (Director of Four Horses) and his team. We spoke in great length about their new title Miles & Kilo. We discussed the game and his inspirations that influenced Miles & Kilo, his passion for the game hooked me from the off, and like all things retro, I was glued to the screens showing the game. Four Horses very kindly gave me the opportunity to review Miles & Kilo, now what were my thoughts? Was it a retro dream flashback? Or was it something best left in retro times? Read on further to find out.
Developed and published by Four Horses Games
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch, also available on PC
You play as Miles, our plucky hero and his sidekick dog Kilo who gets caught up in a mysterious storm whilst out on a leisure flight in their plane (you know as you do!). A mysterious caped baddie named Ripple appears and plunges our heroic duo to a cursed island full of baddies.
The aim of the game is to work your way through the 5 levels and get back the missing parts of your plane so you can fly off the island and get home.
The world you are put in is very much like the world’s of Mario and Sonic of yesteryear; the map has that level and act format that if you’ve played old-school platformers before, you will be familiar with. Playing through the levels you can see where the inspiration of old-school platformers comes in; the happy feel to the gameplay and the nostalgic music really does have that vibe.
Miles & Kilo was initially planned as an auto run game for mobile devices but has moved onto PC and now Nintendo Switch where it has changed to a standard platformer, which for me is the right call; it plays great as a platformer and I’m not a big fan of auto run games.
The game is very quick with most levels completed in a couple of minutes, if not less, now I’m not saying Miles & Kilo is easy, believe me, it isn’t… it’s just a very fast paced game.
At times the frustration of dying drives you to distraction, it happened to me right by the end of a level, I could even see the gate only for me to do a wrong jump and as Miles & Kilo has no checkpoints, it’s right back to the beginning where you go. Warning, you may want to check your Switch insurance, you know… just in case. Now I know I’ve just said at times Miles & Kilo is frustrating but it most definitely has that one more go feel to it, for example, on one of the acts I completed it with 251 deaths… yep, I am not kidding.
As you progress through the levels and acts, you will feel the game getting harder but the enjoyment never stops and it’s altogether an enjoyable -but a bit frustrating- game to play. Being a dog owner myself, I enjoyed the levels playing as Kilo as you drag Miles behind you. As a Springer Spaniel owner, I do a lot of this, and I found this bit of comedy personally, funny as I could relate to Miles and felt his pain. Here’s a fun fact: when I told Michael Waites about my dog and how I relate to Miles, he told me that the first boss you come across is a black cat and it’s actually his personal cat he put in the game.
The gameplay as a whole is great fun, it’s an action packed retro thrill ride and, on the other hand, it also frustrates in equal measure. The hop and jump fight mechanic is very much Mario like but that’s not a bad thing; it feels quite natural, the addition of playing as Kilo is great with the dog franticly dragging you through the levels as you hold on to the lead for dear life. Each level will keep you gripped as some are easy but others need more attention and will test your platform skills. I especially liked the level early on when you play as a shadow, it kind of twisted my mind and perception. The end of boss levels are tricky but not to the point of unbeatable; you’ll need to defeat each of these to retrieve the missing pieces of your plane.
Miles & Kilo comes into its own when you play in mobile mode, I found this was the best way to play with the most enjoyment, with it giving you the Game Gear feel to it, it does however look and play perfectly fine when docked I think it’s just my personal feeling that it’s great mobile.
Graphics and Sound
Now as Miles & Kilo is a retro inspired title, I wouldn’t expect cinema graphics. What you can do however is marvel at the nostalgic throwback down memory lane, it kind of made me want to play it sat crossed legged in front of the TV to get that full old-school feeling. All the music and sound effects are spot on and gives an overall great feel to the game.
My overall thoughts regarding Miles & Kilo would be that it’s a great game and it should be in any Switch owner’s library, it’s well worth looking into. The gameplay had me hooked although it is frustrating at times but, to be fair, I’m not the most patient of people. All in all, Miles & Kilo is a definite must have title and would recommend it to all ages.
This is the must have game for the Switch and I’m praying for a Miles & Kilo 2, it definitely has the potential. As I said before, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Michael and some of his team at EGX and the infectious enthusiasm of Four Horses comes through the game and I wish them all the luck in the future and will keep an excited eye on what’s to come!