TTV2, the sequel to Trip to Vinelands is a simple pick-up-and-play game by the creator of Ubermosh. The game revolves around moving your character in a 2D space where you attempt to clear as many screens as possible while dodging obstacles. Much like his other notable game, TTV2 centers around leaderboards and the only rewards for progressing further and further are personal satisfaction and bragging rights.
Walter Machado, the sole creator of this game, has a trademark style, which is completely present in this release. The punk presentation and alternative aesthetics are eye-catching as always and do a great job of capturing the attention of players, new and returning alike. There’s nothing else like his look in the industry, and that keeps me coming back for more. His offbeat character designs and wild environments are always a treat. This game in particular, however, is quite lacking in the latter. Every background on each screen is incredibly similar, and they don’t really do a good job of feeling varied or dynamic. Even the hazards start to blend together after a few rounds, which is pretty disappointing considering the usually detailed backdrops from Machado’s games.
The soundtrack of this game, though limited, is full of adrenaline and is an amazing motivator. The current track changes slightly upon reaching a new screen, and the excitement of hearing the songs swap upon success never gets old. No matter how many times I start up the game, I never get tired of the hard rock stylings of Machado. The sound design, however, is shockingly absent. There’s no kind of feedback for narrow dodges or hits, which makes the experience feel somewhat shallow. I understand that this is probably so that it’s easier to jump into another round upon failure, but I couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed.
The gameplay in this game is incredibly simple, with no combat to speak of. The player must simply use their analog stick to move around the map and continue to the next screen. Machado games are fun for their simplicity, but this game might be a bit too basic for some players. I can say with full confidence, however, that it’s incredibly easy to turn off your brain and enter a flow state with TTV2. It’s deceptively addicting, and every time I died, I muttered to myself the classic “one more round…” Though there is quite a bit of luck involved, the game is still a fun test of skill, reflexes, patience, and endurance. TTV2 earns a 71/100 from me. The game is technically solid and fun for an afternoon or two, but there’s no real staying power in this title. I can’t see myself going back to it too often. I mean this with no disrespect, but I could see myself playing this more often on a mobile device. Having a neat little experience to enjoy during brief moments of freedom throughout my commute sounds like the ideal way to play TTV2. I can see why Machado felt the need to port this game to Switch.
TTV2 is only 99 cents USD, and I believe that that’s well worth the package. Despite the simple premise and gameplay, TTV2 is infinitely replayable and can be extremely fun in a group setting or when you have a small gap of time to fill. This style of game definitely isn’t for everyone, so I can’t recommend blindly in good faith. Keep in mind that this game isn’t a big-time release, but more of a fun supplement to play on the side. The game also frequently goes on sale and is currently available on Nintendo Switch and PC.