Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Puzzle Platformer Wii U Video Game Review)
“Ready for adventure!” This is the battle cry of video game’s next great adventure hero, who is cold, calculating, and can’t jump. Of course this is a tongue and cheek assessment of Captain Toad. As one of the supporting characters in the recent Super Mario games, including the excellent Galaxy series and 3D World, he would help Mario by providing power ups or finding stars. Often seen as a funny Toad, who is a bit incompetent when it comes to navigating, and at times lacking in courage, this adventure is a perfect fit for the little fungi. The story is a simple one, Captain Toad is spending time with his favorite female Toad, when she gets captured by a large bird. Without hesitation, Captain Toad is off, ready to explore new worlds, in an attempt at rescuing the female Toad.
The gameplay is a great take on the platformer genre, as you navigate the Captain through diorama inspired worlds. Unlike most Mario games, this character is unable to jump, and must instead rely on some puzzle solving to collect the stars, diamonds, coins, and golden mushrooms to continue forward. This platformer allows the player to control Captain Toad through the level, while revolving the camera around each small level to better see where he needs to go. The game plays as an extended version of the mini side levels, staring the wayward Toad, in Super Mario 3D World. There are some nice additions to the gameplay in some of the levels, such as plucking and throwing turnips, similar to the NES classic Super Mario Bros. 2, using the Wii U gamepad to turn various contraptions within levels, and a first person cannon mode in which you shoot turnips at various targets. All of the different gameplay variations, level styles, and mixture of platforming and puzzles in each level keep the game fresh.
Many unfortunately may pass by this game, like many of Nintendo’s first party offerings, due to the cartoon style art. This is unfortunate as this game is a welcome addition to Nintendo’s first part offerings, and hopefully the start of a great new franchise. The graphics and music add to the adorable and delightful attitude of the main character. Additionally, similar to many of Nintendo’s offerings, the bright colors are refreshing to see amongst the dark color palette other popular titles available. Captain Toad offers a set of brain teasers, coordination, and timing that can be enjoyed in short relaxing bursts. With each level also offering multiple items to collect and advanced challenges to give advanced players a bit more to do. Even though the game is short, if you own a Wii U, this is one to pick up. Also, you will unlock bonus levels if you have a Super Mario 3D World save file on your system, and there is more to the story if you are willing to save Toadette.