Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Review (Switch)on July 20, 2018 by Mitch Jay
I skipped Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker when it originally released on Wii U and, like much of its exclusive library, it has now made the jump to Switch to have another go at winning player’s hearts. This delightfully simple puzzle game had me gripped and, darn it, Toad is so damn adorable.
Toad and Toadette are happily collecting Power Stars when the villainous Wingo, a giant crow, swoops down and steals not only the Power Star but Toadette too. The narrative is fun with the two fighting to be together but, as with any Mario game, Captain Toad is about the gameplay rather than story. Each mission sees you chasing down one Power Star and three optional crystals, and each mission has an optional goal such as finding a specific item or defeating all enemies.
Each stage takes place on a fully 3D plane, and you can turn the stage around by moving the right analog stick. Each stage is bite-sized with its depth being found in all angles of each stage, and many stages have movable platforms and other obstacles which can be poked via the touch screen.
Captain Toad encourages you to explore and it gives you all of the tools to happily do so, and you’ll find yourself replaying levels to complete all of its given objectives. It’s addicting and pleasantly mind-bending, and it’s great that Nintendo has given the game another lease of life.
As Toad and Toadette you’re only able to waddle around as you shift the stage into a path to walk around, and you can only defeat enemies by plucking items to throw at them. There’s no jumping on enemies like Mario does and a finite amount of items to use, so it’s worth taking your time before tossing an item at an enemy.
If you fancy tackling a stage again after doing all there is to do on them, there’s a Pixel Toad mode where a mini pixellated Toad will hide somewhere on the stage, and you have to find him and press on him. It’s not very challenging, but it’s a nice addition and it’s no longer locked behind the Toad amiibo.
Captain Toad is a gorgeous game with fantastic level design, colourful and clean 3D models and a wonderfully simplistic design which reminds me of similar games of old – Kula World, anyone? It’s bright and will slap a smile on your face, and it looks brilliant both docked and undocked. I prefer Captain Toad undocked myself, but you’ll have a blast with it regardless how you play it.
Some might be displeased that Toad and Toadette can talk or whatever it is they do with their mouths, but I love it. They have infectiously cheery voices and they sound so darn happy when they clear a stage. There isn’t much in the way of voice-acting but an upbeat OST jingles along as the two protagonists cutely waddle about.
If you missed out on Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker back on Wii U, or it’s been so long that maybe you’ve forgotten many of the puzzles, then I recommend checking this out because it’s enjoyable, easy to play in short bursts and it’s packed with dozens of levels and challenges that’ll keep you engaged for a long time. We might finally have the game ported to Switch and 3DS, but I’d welcome a worthy sequel one day as this is a creatively joyous spin-off of the Mario series which leaves room for so much more.