Published on January 19th, 2015 | by octaneblue0
Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Summary: Developer(s): Nintendo, 1-UP Studio
Platform(s): Wii U
Release Date(s): December 5, 2014
Perfect (or close enough to it)
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was announced at E3 2014, and it was surprising to see that he was getting his own game. Captain Toad debuted as a support character in Super Mario Galaxy, eventually becoming playable in his own series of levels in Super Mario 3D World. This game is a fully realized expansion of those from 3D World, adding in several new elements to the gameplay, including the addition of Toadette as a playable character. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is so full of charm and fun that any owners of the Wii U should definitely check this one out. Read on for the full review of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker!
In Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Captain Toad and Toadette find a Star, but the Star and Toadette are quickly taken by Wingo, a gigantic bird. Captain Toad sets out to find Toadette, gathering plenty of gems and stars along the way. The gameplay here is mostly the same as in Captain Toad’s levels in Super Mario 3D World. As Captain Toad, and later Toadette, players must navigate through box-like levels in order to get to the Star at the end. Each level has 3 Super Gems that can be collected, which are needed to unlock later levels in the game. Due to their heavy backpacks, Captain Toad and Toadette cannot jump, so players must find ways to traverse through levels, as well as defeat enemies using Turnips, Pick Axes, and other items.
The gameplay is simple enough to the point where anyone can pick up any play, which is always a plus. There is a big emphasis on the Wii U GamePad here, as players will need to utilize its features for various levels throughout the adventure, just like in Captain Toad’s levels in Super Mario 3D World. For example, some platforms require players to blow into the GamePad’s mic in order for them to move. And some platforms require moving them with the touch screen. It’s always nice when developers take advantage of the GamePad, the team behind this game did a great job at showcasing creative use of it.
Players will definitely need to take a close look at the levels, which can be done by zooming in with the X button, as well as using the right analog stick to rotate the camera. Several hidden passages and items such as gems can be found by changing the level perspective. It’s recommended to explore every area of each level, as, in addition to collecting the Star and the three Super Gems, there’s an achievement system of sorts that requires you to complete a specific task. For example, some levels require finding a hidden Gold Mushroom that’s hiding in the ground, some levels require to collect a certain amount of coins, and some levels require Captain Toad or Toadette to take no damage. These add replay value to each level, as some of them can’t be accomplished your first time through, at least if you’re going for all of the gems.
There’s an excellent variety of levels in the game. Each level has different mechanics, and no two levels are the same, which is always great. Captain Toad and Toadette will traverse through some really cool and creative environments; if you played Super Mario 3D World and saw the big variety of settings in that game, you can expect to see that here too. In addition to the standard exploration levels, there are some really creative stages that shake things up a bit. For instance, there are some mine cart levels in the game that are basically on-rail shooters; you can aim with the gyroscopic controls on the GamePad or the left analog stick to shoot Turnips at enemies, obstacles, and collectibles. There are also a handful of boss levels too. Some of them are recycled a bit in terms of the boss’s attacks, but the levels themselves are different. And every once in a while, some really entertaining bonus mini-games pop up. Using the Double Cherry (which debuted in 3D World) or the pick axe, your goal is to collect as many coins as you can within the short time limit to rack up extra lives. There’s also a different mini-game that involves being chased by mummy Toads in a maze – these can get pretty intense.
The game looks very bright, colorful, and detailed. It has the same style as Super Mario 3D World, so, again, if you played that game, you’ll know what to expect in the graphics department. The music is mostly adventurous and lighthearted, with some calm and ambient tracks in the mix as well. The music fits each environment and the themes are perfect for exploring levels.
The game’s levels are split into three “Episodes.” At the main menu, you’ll find a book for each Episode once they’re unlocked. Between the three Episodes, there are over 70 levels. As previously stated, there’s a huge variety in the game and all of the levels are unique. Once the game is completed, you’ll unlock the Bonus Episode which has its own set of levels. Collecting all of the gems and completing each of the level achievements unlocks even more levels to play through. If your Wii U has save data for Super Mario 3D World, you can play through some bonus content right away, a nice perk for those that picked up that game. Overall, it took me about 6-7 hours to go through the main game the first time around, and about 5 hours the second time through, once I knew where everything was. The bonus content should at least add another 1-2 hours (especially that final level!) to the game length. Nintendo recently announced that the upcoming Toad amiibo adds in a collectible Pixel Toad in every level, which yet adds another layer of game length.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is highly recommended to anyone that wants to play a game that’s just plain fun. Plenty of the game’s levels and puzzles are thoroughly entertaining, and the gameplay is simple enough for anyone to pick up and play. The game is budget-priced at $39.99 too, so it’s a very affordable adventure for any Wii U owners.
+ Intuitive gameplay
+ Creative use of the GamePad
+ Excellent level variety, creative puzzles