CAPTAIN TOAD: TREASURE TRACKER
NEW LEVELS, RENEWED VISION.
We enjoyed Captain Toad when it came out on Wii U and we continue to enjoy it now. Nintendo doesn’t always hit it out of the park and, sometimes, it doesn’t aim to. Captain
Toad: Treasure Tracker is not a game intended to wow the hardcore fanbase or blow people away with its innovation. It is supposed to entertain for a few hours and offer bite-sized nuggets of uplifting and engaging puzzle action. And when Nintendo aims that little bit lower, beneath its loftier aims for a new Mario game or a new Zelda, it often manages to create something really wonderful. Treasure
Tracker is just such an experience. Even if this weren’t a re-release, we would say that it feels familiar. Having Toad or Toadette waddle around a small 3D level trying to collect diamonds, find hidden secrets and ultimately grab a star before moving on is structurally very familiar, even if the pieces are new. It’s very reminiscent of classic Mario vs Donkey Kong gameplay albeit with an extra third dimension in play, but the essence is similar. The puzzle to solve is how you get around the level, often introducing new mechanics, grabbing everything you can on the way. It’s very simple and stripped back, but very rewarding, too.
Speaking more specifically about this Switch release, many of the rougher edges of the original feel as if they have been ironed away. The occasional touch control feels nowhere near as jarring, and the same goes for using tilt controls for aiming when you have the option to fire turnips from a cannon.
What continues to impress on our second time playing this game is the quality of the level design. The addition of stages based on worlds from Super Mario Odyssey is yet more evidence that these little dioramas are a rich format for creativity. The small interactions that allow Toad to move around and navigate make them very pleasant little puzzle boxes to spend time working your way through. The format also makes it ideal for playing on the move, so it will play just as nicely on 3DS as it does on Switch in handheld mode.