Captain Toad Treasure Tracker is just one of those games Nintendo does so well. It’s simple, yet brilliant and so addictive it’s hard to put down.
Nintendo is the master at developing interesting, yet easy to comprehend game mechanics and running with them. Originally featured as a mini-game in Super Mario 3D World, so popular were the Captain Toad levels that Nintendo gave him his very own spin-off.
As was the case with games released on the Wii U, they received little fanfare and fewer sales.
Thankfully, with the Switch being such a phenomenal success, some Wii U games are being given a new lease on life. In the case of Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, the Switch is the perfect platform.
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker Review
If you’re unfamiliar with the levels from Mario 3D World or the original game on Wii U, let me give a rundown. Each level in Captain Toad Treasure Tracker is a self-contained ‘mini-universe.’
These mini-levels are like a diorama or snowglobe. You can view them from every angle and they represent a tiny vertical slice of a wider Mario themed world. They’re frankly adorable in typical Nintendo fashion.
The aim of each level is to find and collect the Power Star. Along the way, you can, but don’t need to, collect Gems, Mushrooms and Coins. While it’s not mandatory to collect anything other than the star, later levels are locked behind a Gem requirement.
If you want to see everything that Captain Toad has to offer, you’ll need to collect Gems along the way. These aren’t overly difficult to find and collect and are actually part of what makes each level so good.
I viewed the Power Star more as the exit for the level, rather than an actual goal. The Gems were what drove me forward. Thanks to the clever design of each level and the camera angles, finding all three Gems in each level does become a challenge.
On a treasure hunt
Initially, the levels and challenges aren’t taxing, but as you progress they start to become devious. However, not once did I ever find any level or puzzle impossible. There was always a logical solution, I’d just failed to think of it.
In most cases, it was a simple matter of rotating the camera to view things from a new angle. It’s surprising how often I forgot that I could rotate the entire level. The nature of the game and puzzles give you the impression that you’re locked into an isometric view.
It’s something I think Nintendo is aware of and used to its advantage when designing levels.
Captain Toad and Toadette aren’t the strongest of heroes. Neither can jump nor do they have any real attacks of their own. They can both throw Turnips that they pull from the ground which does beat most enemies, but aside from that, this is purely an exploration game.
A Hunter not a Fighter
For most enemies, you’re better off keeping your distance anyways. Shy Guys act like sentries and rotate the direction they’re facing. You can avoid them by simply waiting until they face away from you and then legging it.
As for other mechanics, they’re gradually introduced throughout the game, though in all there couldn’t be more than half a dozen in total. There are some platforms that can be moved by tapping on them, others that vanish after a few seconds and some that will only move if you have the correct number of Toads standing on them.
You may remember the Cherry power-up from Mario 3D World. It makes a few appearances and sees you doubling and tripling your Toads for the duration of the level.
Everything in Captain Toad Treasure Tracker makes complete sense within the confines of the game’s world and rules. Nintendo does a brilliant job of explaining how the game works and then lets you get on with it.
Visually, it’s bright, clear and crisp and has the cartoon quality of all recently released Nintendo games. The Mario Odyssey themed levels are easily the best of the bunch in terms of graphics, though that’s because they’ve been created recently.
Speaking of those levels, it’s a shame that there are only four new levels included. Despite Captain Toad being sold for a discount price, it would have been nice to have a few more new levels.
The addition of the Hide and Seek challenge for each level is a nice bonus, though they’re relatively easy so won’t add much replayability. Sadly, the 2-player co-op mode is pretty basic and a little pointless.
It’s your typical little brother mode. One player actually controls Toad and plays the game, while the other can stun enemies and shoot some turnips at them. I know which one I’d rather do.
For a re-release Captain Toad Treasure Tracker is a pretty good pick. The short nature of the levels and touch controls make it perfect for Switch, especially when playing on the go. I’m sure plenty of Switch owners missed it on Wii U too so now’s a good time to give it a go.
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker is available on July 13, 2018.
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker was reviewed o Switch using a digital code provided by Nintendo.
Game Title: Captain Toad Treasure Tracker