Developer: Nintendo EPD
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Category: Puzzle & Strategy
Release Date: July 13, 2018 (Worldwide)
Get ready for adventure, as Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, makes its way to Nintendo Switch and 3DS. The titular hero has braved hardships and perilous puzzles on the Wii U and now, he must brave them all again. Only this time, where you go, he goes, thanks to re-release on two portable platform. Now brace yourselves for a written adventure, as it is now time to commence our Captain Toad Switch Review.
Captain Toad is no ordinary Toad. His grand debut began way back in 2007 in Super Mario Galaxy. He was the leader of the Toad Brigade that helped Mario with finding Power Stars. He also appeared in Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Super Mario 3D World. In Super Mario 3D World. You could play as Captain Toad for the first time through a series of small puzzle worlds, which would later inspire and set the foundation of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.
Captain Toad’s adventure didn’t just stop there though, oh no. The intrepid adventurer also appeared multiple times in Super Mario Odyssey. He would give Mario Power Moons f you could find him in various kingdoms. Captain Toad has since returned as a playable protagonist and though we would have liked a sequel, we will certainly settle for the port.
The story of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, follows Captain Toad and his friend Toadette, as they travel to many different worlds to collect Power Stars. As the duo are about collect their first Power Star together, all of a sudden, a giant bird swoops down and grabs the Power star and flies off with Toadette clinging to Power Star! Toad then travels through a series of worlds to collect more Power Stars, whilst searching for the Toadette and the Large Bird that kidnapped her.
Okay, so the actual story is a rather simple one and won’t be winning any Oscars any time soon. The fact that Captain Toad spends more time searching for Stars than rescuing his friend, would point toward his search for personal gain being his main priority rather than the value of friendship. To be fair though, the main focus of the game is solving puzzles, collecting Gems and Power Stars, so we’ll let him off for this one.
The worlds and aesthetics are based on the courses from Super Mario 3D World. The Wii U version of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker ran at 720p, whereas the Switch version when docked has improved graphics at 1080p but falls back to 720p in handheld mode. It must be said though that there is rarely a noticeable difference when in docked mode except that text does look sharper.
Whilst on the subject of comparing graphics. The 3DS version of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker does take a much more noticeable hit but is still a much better presentation than most games on the system, which is all the more remarkable when you remember that Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was primarily a Wii U game. The 3DS version still maintains rather crisp and has the added benefit of the 3D Feature. Its biggest sacrifice however, is that it runs at 30FPS as opposed to 60FPS on the Wii U and Switch.
Much like the graphics and worlds, the game’s music should also sound similar, since it was pretty much, ripped straight from Super Mario 3D World soundtrack, which isn’t really a bad thing, since the worlds in Captain Toad are based on those in Super Mario 3D World. The music is cheery, peppy and helps accentuate the theme for each course.
As for what it is, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, is a 3D puzzle platformer that takes place across 70 levels. Weighed down by his heavy backpack, Captain Toad can’t jump but he can climb ladders, fall, and interact with a number of objects to make his ordeals easier. He can also use turnips and the super pickaxe when he finds them, to attack enemies or he can fall on them from a higher platform. The pickaxe can also be used to break blocks that lead to otherwise inaccessible areas.
As regards to enemies, Goombas, Shy Guys, Fuzzies, Boos as well as plenty of other Super Mario staples, are all here to make sure that Captain Toad doesn’t have it too easy when trying to reach the Power Star. More often than not, you will spend most of your time evading them until you find something to defend yourself with or reach your goal.
On each level, there are three gems and a Power Star to find. Gems are needed to unlock certain levels and the Power Star is required to finish the level you are currently playing. There are also coins to collect along with 1-Up mushrooms and Golden Mushrooms. When you have 100 coins, much like in the Super Mario Games, you will be granted an extra life. The 1-Up mushrooms will also give you an extra life and the Golden Mushrooms add an extra 50 coins to your coin count.
On some levels there, are also Double-Up cherries that will multiply Captain Toad and at times are necessary for solving certain puzzles. On other levels, there are locked doors that require a key which, can normally be found under a plant patch or solving a mini puzzle. On some levels, especially those with plenty of hazards or enemies. You can sometimes find a red mushroom, which will give you an extra 10 coins if you are at full size or will bring you back to full size if you were hurt by an enemy or hazard.
The grand majority of levels, require you to move around and collect whatever you can get your mitts on. A few levels do shake things up a little, like the mine cart ride or the Dragon ride. Instead of taking part on a puzzle box like world, you are on a rail mechanic where you have to shoot turnips at coins, gems, enemies and POW blocks or smash into things whilst riding the Giant dragon and breathe fire for the merry fun of it. These levels are few and far between though, so you won’t be getting too tired of them anytime soon.
After completing a level, you will unlock an optional secondary objective that you may or may not have already accomplished on the level. These are usually, collect a certain amount of coins, defeat all enemies, etc. You can complete these on your first try but not all secondary objectives are the same and can differ depending on each level.
A not so new addition to the Switch and 3DS version are the Hide and Seek Pixel Toad missions. On the Wii U, if you had a Toad amiibo, you could tap it on the level you wish to play and unlock an extra mission of trying to find the Pixel Toad. This time around, you can unlock each Pixel Toad mission after completing each level. This would make the Toad amiibo obsolete but Nintendo have thought about that and have added a brand new feature to it. We have covered it an article on our website, so we won’t spoil what it is for you here but it may certainly prove useful for those that are struggling with harder levels.
After completing the first Episode, you will unlock a second Episode and also time trials for Episode 1. You only have to collect the star on each level as quickly as possible and you have a set time to beat. This is optional of course and doesn’t affect the gameplay if you are just going back over a level to collect all the Gems. The Second Episode also allows you to play as Toadette through a series of levels, as this time it is Captain Toad that is kidnapped.
You will occasionally get mini-games pop-up that you can choose to play or not that revolve around getting as many coins as possible. The only real benefit to these mini-games are that you can get yourself some extra lives but if you are already have like 50+ lives, there is no real need to spend time on them unless you want to.
Controls for Captain Toad combines physical, motion and touch-screen controls. The left joystick moves Captain Toad around, “A” interacts with objects, “Y” turns on and off Toad’s headlamp and holding “Y” whilst moving makes Toad run. You can move the camera around with the right joystick or with the “L” and “R” buttons. Some object interactions require the use of motion controls or touch screen controls to operate them. For example, there are some platforms that need to be ‘pressed’ in order to move them into a new position. In handheld mode, you can just simply press the platform and it will move. In docked mode or table-top mode, you can use the motion controls to move the cursor onto the object you need to move and press “ZR”.
Although the Wii U version relied on touch-screen controls and didn’t have a cursor, the 3DS uses touch-screen controls on its secondary screen. The Switch had this new feature implemented so that players could still play freely in docked mode. Unfortunately, there is no way to remove the cursor from the screen so it zips around the screen while playing with a Pro controller or Joy-cons. If you hold the Pro Controller or Joy-Con dead centre, regardless of what position the Switch is in, the cursor will be in the centre of the screen so if you don’t want the cursor causing a distraction in the middle of the screen, be sure to off-set your controller.
A little extra feature that has been added to the Switch version, is the option for a second player to help you on your adventure by giving the second player a Joy-con. However, much like Super Mario Galaxy and Odyssey, The second player is restricted to controlling a cursor that can hinder enemies and activate platforms when touched. It is a motion control affair and though it can be fun to play with someone other than yourself, I would have rather enjoyed that the second player could take control of another character like Toadette, which would make collecting items and fulfilling objectives much more fun actively involving both players.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker 0n Switch & 3DS, also has some new content included based on some of the kingdoms from Super Mario Odyssey. Nintendo are known for porting their games and adding a little something extra to them, and they almost did the same thing with this game but this time, they removed content as well. The four new bonus courses based on Super Mario Odyssey locations, have replaced the courses that had Toad try to find gems and stars in almost full-sized levels from Super Mario 3D World. It isn’t a huge game changer and as fun as the new additional levels are, they don’t help the fact that content was removed, just for their addition of four new courses.
Captain Toad has found a suitable home on Switch and 3DS, its portability and short levels allow players to enjoy the adventures of Captain Toad in small doses or in full-on gaming sessions. Its unique charm does something different from the typical Super Mario games. It expanded on the idea of small puzzle courses that were a novelty in Super Mario 3D World and created a whole collection of them that can now be enjoyed anytime, anywhere.
I won’t lie, I thoroughly enjoyed Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker when it first released on the Wii U and almost fully completed it, due to one level that tripping me up, but now that it is on Switch, I had no doubt of picking it up for the console so I could experience the game all over again. The removal of some courses to add four new ones, did rub me up the wrong way a little, but if I really want to play them, I could always boot up my Wii U again.
There is a lot of good old family fun to be had and it can be enjoyed no matter how old you are. The puzzles are not overly difficult but there are extra features like the secondary objectives, Pixel Toad Missions and the Time Trials for those that like a bit more challenge. The added option of being able to play co-op with another player on Switch means you can share the fun with friends and family. It would also allow younger family members to be able to enjoy gaming with older members taking the auxiliary role. While the game is a port, $40 dollars is not exceptionally expensive and you will get your money’s worth out of it if you are going to be playing it for the first time. If this is your second time around however, you will be hard-pressed to want to buy it again. Four new levels that replace existing levels doesn’t really warrant a rebuy and if you really want to play Super Mario Odyssey themed courses, then just put the $40 dollars you would spend on this game toward getting Super Mario Odyssey, if you don’t have it already.
Don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and enjoy playing it on my Nintendo Switch and while I do recommend buying this game to potential first-time buyers, There isn’t really anything more for those that already own the original title. Buy it if you enjoyed the game before, but I won’t try to convince you to buy it again, if you already have the game. When Mario Kart 8 was ported, it brought a revamped Battle mode and Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition, included all DLC and modes that were not available on both the Wii U and 3DS versions (Separately yes, but not together,) plus new outfits. Captain Toad on the other hand, actually replaces old some old content, with new levels so as to maintain a sense of relevance and appeal for lovers of Super Mario Odyssey. So even though it would sadden poor Captain Toad if you decided to miss out on this port, we would certainly understand and respect your decision. To everybody else though, hurry up and get your rucksacks and headlamps, it’s time for adventure!!!
THE VERDICT: 8/10
*Review Key Provided by Nintendo
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This post was written by Mike Scorpio