Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on Nintendo Switch Review — A Puzzlingly Sharp Port

To put it differently, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was a prime candidate to be picked up for Nintendo Switch: underplayed, accessible, and suited to the hardware.

Lo and behold, Nintendo had just that notion in your mind, together with a surprise announcement at 2018’s March Nintendo Direct for the two Switch along with Nintendo 3DS. Including a few extra stages — dubbed “mini-universes” — and removing some Wii U exclusive ones, there might not be a whole lot fresh to the bundle. But whenever a title makes a generational leap to a broader audience, there is no greater time to reevaluate how the game (and its own interface ) fares.

Series legendary platforming and put it with isometric puzzle solving. These detours were so beloved and intriguing to the game that it prompted its spin-off, now with extra goals and far more gameplay depth.

The most critical change involving The Adventures of Captain Toad and the most important name is that the game’s clear focus — the previous 6 mini-games were enlarged to 73 mini-universes (split into 3 chapters), packed with using a dedicated story section regarding the titular Captain Toad and Toadette as they find funds for Mario to assist his travel. With much more latitude to craft special puzzles and storyline (albeit just as shallow as the usual Super Mario Bros..  Dash ), Nintendo EAD could make something close to poetry. It’s pleasing to watch Nintendo stretch the limitations of Captain Toad’s gameplay and what can be done in a 3D isometric puzzle, and nothing feels predictable or idle.

What are those constraints? As stated before, Captain Toad entirely lacks regular platforming skills. While he can operate across the surface, climb ladders up, and pluck turnips in the ground, he will ’t jump.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on Nintendo Switch Review — A Puzzlingly Sharp Port

Each mini-universe will require you to reach the end-level Electricity Star, but there are also three Super Stone ripe for your collecting. Once you complete each level, you can go back and complete an optional goal that ranges from sneaking past every Shy Guy or collecting 100 coins in the stage. Also available from the beginning is the incentive Pixel Toad Hide and Seek missions which ask players to scan every place to get a pixelated Toad. These start off leisurely, but later get pretty mischevious in later levels — a nice bonus addition who find the problem curve of this game somewhat basic.

Speaking of difficulty, the game warms up nicely — Nintendo EAD knows difficulty scaling, and you will never be overly frustrated to complete a level (let alone locate all the Super Gems). Going 100% throughout the game took me roughly ten hoursand I felt that most every mini-universe was a step upward from the former one in some capacity or another. This includes the three boss fights packed into the primary campaign, which were fine asides into the typical puzzle-solving gameplay (even if they were just disguised puzzles themselves).

Two-player mode is present in the game, however it is barely worth speaking about. If you recall the shoehorned gameplay out of Super Mario Galaxy, it is mostly that. The next player may use the motion control to aid the first player by hammering some enemies or even shooting turnips. It’s almost more enjoyable to switch off levels between friends than it is to have them perform with the multiplayer sections.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on Nintendo Switch Review — A Puzzlingly Sharp Port

Apart from the gameplay, both the visuals and the audio design is fitting for the Nintendo Switch port. The game keeps the cute, animation style that the Super Mario Bros..  Series is known for, and the Nintendo Switch never feels endangered in this respect. If you are able to gut Captain Toad’s intentionally annoying noise cues, the soundtrack is not as robust compared to other Mario games, but probably better for the contemplative puzzle-solving setting.

While the game has aged well and is going to be an ideal match for the growing Nintendo Switch audience (well over 5M over the Wii U viewers ), I’m not without my doubts. First off, while I liked the re-tooled finish and Super Mario Odyssey amounts felt uniquely targeted for your SwitchI don’t know the main reason behind dropping the Wii U levels. It retains the Switch version of this game from feeling as a definitive version, and more like a interface. Additionally, I’m surprised that four new levels were all Nintendo considered adding to spice up the equation — it would appear the Nintendo Switch’s dual Joy-Con setup would be ideal for integrating co-op Captain Toad/Toadette stages, or perhaps a Super Mario Maker creation system. The game doesn’t suffer from lost these items, but it would be simpler to claim for the $40 price tag — particularly for the Nintendo fans who have already picked this up.

Despite some missed opportunities that Nintendo could have latched onto, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a game that shouldn’t be missed for anyone looking for a relaxed emotional challenge.

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