Reviews

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Review – Platforms to Puzzles

Up next in Nintendo’s Wii U line-up reinvention is Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. After Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze and Pokken Tournaments re-launch success, it only made sense to carry on the trend, especially seeing as a lot of Nintendo fans skipped out on the Wii U. Treasure Tracker takes players on a puzzling adventure with Captain Toad in a surprise success for the big N.

Captain Toad is a character that was originally brought to life in Super Mario 3D World in the Captain Toad mini games. These mini games proved to be quite popular and the rest is history. Keeping in mind that Treasure Tracker was made with the Wii U in mind, players might find the best experience in handheld mode due to its partial touch screen gameplay. Nintendo have tried to combat this by turning a joy con into a pointer during docked mode, but overall feels quite awkward.

“Sometimes, the puzzles are an Odyssey in themselves…”

Diamonds are for Toad

Although Treasure Tracker takes under ten hours to breeze through, the post play involves collecting all diamonds and completing challenges. Not to mention Treasure Tracker’s very own version of ‘Where’s Wally?’ / ‘Where’s Waldo?’ by introducing the challenge of finding a retro pixel Toad throughout each level.

The level design in Treasure Tracker is simply superb. Much like Super Mario Galaxy, Treasure Tracker operates in all dimensions and on all faces of the level. This is the greatest mechanic in Treasure Tracker. What seems like a simple level at the start of the game quickly turns into a maze/puzzle fest as players decipher the rubix cubes that Nintendo calls courses.

Where are your boys now, Toad?

With Toad being Toad, he’s a bit useless when it comes to fending off enemies without his poor excuse for a plumber friend around. So Nintendo decided to implement touch features which lets players shortly freeze enemies to get past them or throw a conveniently planted turnip at them. Treasure Tracker often breaks its own conventions with introducing new mechanics and puzzle tools on almost every level. An example of these new heights can be seen in the first person shooter levels, which adds more depth to these already revolutionary level designs. It’s not quite DooM FPS, but it’s in the same genre almost!

“MULTIKILL!!!”

On every course, Toad is bursting to find three diamonds, all the coins he can lay his mutated hands on and grab any bonuses that are available; which becomes the entertaining post game previously mentioned. In addition to the courses from Wii U, Nintendo have lovingly created four Super Mario Odyssey levels exclusively for Nintendo Switch.

Graphically, players can expect the usual polished and smooth experience that we have all come to love from Mario titles. In both handheld and docked mode there were no issues with framerates or animations. The menu system harkens back to Paper Mario with its story book style level selection. Treasure Tracker is a truly polished experience in this regard. The soundtrack and SFX are straight from the Wii U version which were crisp and clear to start with so no issues there but at the same time there isn’t anything massively epic either.

“As Toad tries to hide away his flatulence, player one rotates the camera to catch his air biscuit”

Verdict:

Graphics and Presentation: 4.5

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 4.5

Overall Score: 4.3/5

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker ticks all the boxes for a polished and fun puzzle experience that only Nintendo can deliver. It’s just a shame the touch screen mechanic received a mediocre transplant to joy con movements in docked mode. This is truly a handheld experience; which Nintendo Fan boys shouldn’t have an issue with.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), 3DS and Wii U

Release Date: 13/07/2018

Price: £34.99

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Pegi Rating: 3+

Review copy provided by publisher

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