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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Video Game Review

Reviewed by on Dec 18, 2014
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Toad gets his first solo game and it was worth the wait! Read Kidzworlds video game review of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker here.

Perhaps a long time overdue after being featured in countless Super Mario games. Toad finally makes his leading man debut in Nintendo's whimsical puzzle game, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.

It's a wonderful bookend to a great year for Nintendo fans. Offering fun and casual gameplay that's equally great for short bursts or long gaming sessions.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Trailer


A Story-Less Adventure.

Let's get the story out the way. Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, this is not. There is no real story to Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Toadette is kidnapped by a giant bird named Wingo and Toad sets off to rescue her. It's the simplest of set-ups in order to get to the good stuff. The puzzles and gameplay.

Wingo... Up to no good.Wingo... Up to no good.Courtesy of Nintendo

Toad is Indy & The Gamepad His Whip

Captain Toad: Treasure Hunter takes the Toad Levels from Super Mario 3D World and fleshes them out into even more mind-bending environmental puzzles. As Toad (and later, Toadette) you're tasked with avoiding traps while navigating dozens of cleverly designed levels to collect Gems and the Star at the end of each before facing off against Wingo.

Collect the gems before grabbing the Star!Collect the gems before grabbing the Star!Courtesy of Nintendo

Played mostly from a 3/4 isometric view, you utilize the right analog stick to freely spin the camera around each level and in doing so, reveal the required path to capture the gems and star or cleverly defeat a pestering enemy. The gamepad (which is required to play) is also well utilized in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. There are times when puzzles require you to push pieces of the level around in order to progress and you do this by tapping the appropriate piece displayed on the gamepad. When riding in mine-carts, your main view is a 1st-person perspective which is displayed on the gamepad screen also.

For the most part, the level design and gameplay kept me engaged for hours at a time.

Toad finds himself in some rather precarious situations.Toad finds himself in some rather precarious situations.Courtesy of Nintendo

There are 2 mechanics I'm not a fan of in this game though. First, I never like to blow into my controllers and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker has a few of these moments - though admittedly they work well. I'm also not a fan of the gyroscope enabled camera controls. I always felt like I had to hold the gamepad at awkward angles to get the perspective I wanted on screen and simply found it easier to use the analogs. I couldn't find an option (I don't think there is one) to turn off the gyro which meant occasionally with my shuffle-in-my-seat gaming style, I would wobble my perspective on screen unintentionally. These are minor complaints though of what is otherwise a classy, well oiled machine.

Classic Items & Replayability

Being based in the Mario universe, it goes without saying there are a few familiar items to use in the game. If you're hit by an enemy you shrink and just like classic Mario games Mushrooms can be consumed to bring you back to full size. Since Toad can't jump, you find coins, mushrooms and pickaxes (which are great for clearing large rocks) by pulling up plants from the ground. A technique also used in Super Mario Bros 2.

Each and every level is unique.Each and every level is unique.Courtesy of Nintendo

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker kept surprising me with it's new traps and assortment of increasingly difficult enemies to avoid and puzzles to solve. The best part is that most of the puzzles are accessible to players of all skill levels. It's starts off very simple but by the time you hit Chapter 3, you'll really start to flex your brain.

Since the core gameplay is so satisfying, I'm happy to report that there is plenty of game here to satisfy, especially as this is priced at $39.99(US) instead of the usual $60 for a retail game. There are well over 50 main levels and each one is unique, offering its own three dimensional quirkiness. It will probably take you on average about 6 hours to complete the main levels - a little longer if you choose to 100% them. And after that there are Bonus Levels that feature their own challenges (these are based around 3D World Levels).

Your enemies don't always play fair...Your enemies don't always play fair...Courtesy of Nintendo

Toad's Looking Sharp

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros have, shows Nintendo is grappling well with the Wii U hardware and is able to produce some gorgeous visuals. While not taxing on hardware or overly complex artistically. The game is none-the-less beautiful. When you zoom in closer to the action with the press of a button, the wonderfully polished character models and environments glow with a radiating, smile inducing charm. Dust trails kick up as Toad runs and the shimmer of stars is as sharp as ever.

The owls want to stamp you out.The owls want to stamp you out.Courtesy of Nintendo

The music is decent with a few catchy tunes, especially those that harken back the original Super Mario Bros. on NES. But overall the music simply serves its purpose to fill out the background. Which is not a bad thing.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is available now on Wii U!Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is available now on Wii U!Courtesy of Nintendo

Final Thoughts

A charming, accessible platform puzzle game featuring engaging gameplay, starring Toad and Toadette. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker makes for an entertaining change of pace, offering enough challenge to keep you interested while also avoiding frustration. It's a good addition to the growing Wii U library and great way for Nintendo's first-party teams to end the year.

Available now on Nintendo Wii U

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for Wii U: 4

Have Your Say!

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