- + Fantastic level design lets the puzzles shine
- + Fun use of the Gamepad
- + Looks stunning
- Nothing worth noting
Want to look beyond the score? Read the full written review below…
With such a focus on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it’s fair to say that my Wii U has been severely overlooked. After being able to review Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, my love for Nintendo has made a resurgence.
From the moment I booted up Captain Toad I cracked a huge smile. With the classic Nintendo sounds, colours and level design springing to life, I felt as though I was in my childhood again. Treasure Tracker’s world and levels are inspired and continued from their first implementation in Super Mario 3D World, wherein players could take charge as Toad and use him in a handful of bonus levels.
Whilst the game doesn’t present huge, sprawling worlds such as Mario Galaxy or other notable Nintendo titles, it’s its size that makes it both addictive and a joy to play. From the offset you’re given small square levels to explore, with a varying amount of layers to transcend. You can view Toad from a distance or zoom in close by pressing X, which will allow you to feast your eyes on the beautiful level design. You’re then able to fully explore the area presented to you by using the analogue stick or Gamepad’s gyro sensors, twisting and turning around the map in order to gain the best viewpoint.
Beyond the first few levels they then begin forgo the typical boxed-in design. Essentially designed as small puzzles, each area will set you the task of overcoming enemies, searching for gems and, eventually, reaching the golden Power Star. All of this to accomplish and not even one jump is available. This is because of the weight of Toad’s backpack, since it’s too heavy for him to even think about leaving the ground.
It’s through this simple caveat of no being able to jump that your brain is truly tested. Whether you’re trying to access a certain ledge or have to abolish a pesky enemy, it’s through the use of seeing things from a different angle, that you may find the solution. It reminded me a lot of the game FEZ, particularly due to its emphasis on seeing things from a different perspective.
In total there are three main books or ‘hubs’ to progress through: the first two compiling of eighteen levels each, and the third one containing twenty eight. Across the simple story you’ll get the ability to control both Toad and Toadette. Beyond the main bulk of the game, there’re also a handful of bonus levels to unlock as well. Next to collecting those lovely Power Stars, progression mainly hinges on being able to find three gems hidden around each level. Once you’ve found enough, you’ll have the ability to unlock the next section of levels. It adds an incentive to really study each area you enter, and you might be surprised by how well hidden they often are.
Aside from being able use the Gamepad to play the game off of the TV, it also lends itself well to certain tasks in-game. For instance, coming across a valve will allow you to spin it on the screen with your finger. Other areas will task you with moving blocks via touching them, and sequences that stick you in a mine cart will allow you to aim through a first-person perspective, shooting turnips at items and enemies. It’s these simple mechanics that made me feel like a kid again, and reminded me how much enjoyment Nintendo provide through their unique approach to gameplay. It’s also worth noting that whilst I don’t own any Amiibo figurines, Treasure Tracker does support them, and purchasing Toad’s will open up an extra hide and seek-style mode.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker showcases just how much power Nintendo harnesses when it comes to developing a new first-party title. Their penchant for great gameplay is hard to beat, and beside the fact that this title may be smaller than Nintendo’s usual offerings, it shouldn’t deter you from experiencing an instant classic.