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Captain Toad Treasure Tracker Review

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was originally a series of bonus levels on Super Mario 3D World for the Wii U. It was a much loved segment of the game, and Nintendo decided to releases a full, dedicated game to the adventurous Captain Toad on the Wii U.

For all those people who missed out originally can now experience Captain Toad’s adventures on the Nintendo Switch and 3DS. I myself had a Wii U, but still didn’t buy this game (shame on me), but I was happy to hear it was getting a Switch release, so I finally decided to try it out.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

Level Design and Mechanics

It’s a good thing I did, as Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a lot of fun. Each level is uniquely designed, complete with all sorts of obstacles, fun mechanics, and collectibles.

But there really needed to be a lot of thought put into each level because in terms of controls and movements, it’s very limited. Captain Toad cannot jump, run, or do any of those agile things that the likes of Mario and Luigi can do.

Instead, Captain Toad can just walk and pick up objects off the ground. But those limitations aren’t a limitation on the game itself. It means the developers really had to think outside the box to give us something we haven’t seen before. And I believe they achieved that.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

Each and every level has its own theme and ideas that are rarely reused. This game is definitely more of a puzzle and exploration game than a platformer. Can you really call it a platformer if you can’t even jump?

Another unique idea this game has is that the camera really is the main mechanic of the game. You really need to use the camera to its fullest to see all paths available and also all the hidden secrets. It really makes you feel more involved when you’re just as much of the main character as Toad is.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

Speaking of mechanics, my personal favourite was tapping those pink and blue platforms to make them move. The extra objective for those levels usually involved getting to the end of the level by having a limited amount of times you can tap those platforms, meaning you really have to think your way through.

Not everything was great though as I hated those mine cart levels. You just ride on a mine cart from start to finish, shooting things as you go along. There’s no real thought behind them and they weren’t really that fun.

Collectibles and Replay Value

There’s actually a decent amount of levels to play through, each with their own set of collectibles and objectives. Your main goal is to make it to the end of the level and collect the star. But to add to the replay value, each level has 3 hidden gems to find.

You really have to thoroughly search each level to find them all, but they were always fun to find. You actually need to collect gems to unlock certain levels later on, so it’s best not to ignore them. But since they’re fun to find anyway, why would you ignore them?

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

Along with gems, each level has its own bonus objective- such as collecting a certain amount of coins, finding the hidden golden mushroom, or defeating all enemies. Each level doesn’t take that long to do, so having all these extras did help extend the life of the game.

But my favourite bonus to each level was Pixel Toad! Once you complete each level, you have the option to replay it and try to find Pixel Toad, who is hidden somewhere in the level. Sometimes you’d find him quick, other times it took a while, but finding him was always a burst of joy.

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker Review Summary

What mostly amazes me about Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is how much creativity was squeezed out of what were just a few bonus levels on Super Mario 3D World. The ideas they came up with were really clever, and limiting Toad’s movements and skills actually helped bring more out of the game, as it relied more on originality rather than reflexes and skill.

I never really touched on the game’s story because I didn’t really need to. It’s simply about a massive bird that kidnapped Toadette, and Captain Toad goes off to save her. Nothing special, but this game is all about the compact, fun, and well-designed levels.

There are quite a few levels too, and with the extra things to do in them, it’s really good value. It’s actually cheaper than most Switch games (especially at release), so I definitely recommend it to any Switch owner.

Score: 8.6

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