Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Review [Japan Version]


I know I have never really hidden it, but here I am out and proud. I LOVE Nintendo. I love almost everything about them. I love how they always deliver games on time, I love how they would never release a game which glitches, and I love how they present games which are accessible to everyone, complete with extra challenges so difficult that even hardcore gamers could be appeased.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is no exception. Based on a small amount of levels from Super Mario 3D world where you play as Captain Toad himself, this new release gives you the chance to play as Mario’s much underrated pal, and his best friend Toadette, through over 70 puzzle filled levels.

While Mario can jump around, bouncing off goombas with ease, Toad and Toadette can’t do pretty much anything. They can’t jump, they can’t attack, even the lowliest shy guy sees them running in terror, but that is what makes the game all the more special. It brings a number of new game mechanics to the franchise, while mixing it in with faithful ones such as the two hits and you’re out model. Toad has three options when escaping enemies, if one is available, he can hit them with a radish, if they are undead he can shine them to death with his torch, or failing those his only option is to run as fast as his legless feet will carry him.

While the story is a little lacklustre; it’s you basic damsel/dude in distress trope interspersed with wordless cutscenes, the puzzles have a great range of difficulty, variety and each one comes with enough collectibles to keep you entertained for hours. Whether it’s whizzing down a giant pinball machine, flying through transparent pipes, riding a minecart filled with radishes or levels where you just can’t stop running, there are so many different types of puzzle that everyone will have a favourite.

Once you are done with the main story mode there are several bonus levels available, which get so increasingly difficult that even after 30 hours of playing, I still haven’t unlocked them all. The variety here gets a little stagnant, as it repeats levels from 3D World and from Toad’s previous episodes, only with a slightly altered mission, but as extras they are welcomed none the less.

For the first time in a WiiU title I will applaud the use of the touchscreen. Captain toad offers special blocks, cogs, and coins which only yield their secrets through the power of your fingertips. This requires a whole new way of thinking and in game logic in order to collect everything and make your way to the star. The only place I would mark Captain Toad down however, completely uninventive story aside, is how some objects both completely fill the touchscreen and require your digits attention simultaneously creating a conflict for your eyes.

While the phrase gets thrown around a lot Captain Toad really does offer something from everyone, apart from perhaps the most cynical hearts that hate everything cute and charming. At its lower than average price for a AAA game, it’s worth picking up, and despite being single player, the complexity of the puzzles will allow everyone to join in with solutions.