Nintendo is really treating gamers to some spectacular titles lately. While Nintendo did have a bit of a bad run during the launch phase of the Wii U, it is great to see that the console has risen from strength to strength over the past year. Nintendo’s latest title to hit the Wii U, which comes in the form Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, is one of the Nintendo Wii U’s highlights of 2014.
Developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo and published by Nintendo, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is essentially a platform style puzzle solving game. The plot behind Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is simple yet rather entertaining. Captain Toad and Toadette are out treasure hunting, climbing a structure to get a Power Star. They soon after notice feathers falling from the sky when Wingo, a large bird who’s described as “a lover of all things shiny”, grabs the star. Toadette attempts to retrieve it while Captain Toad is temporarily knocked over. Wingo makes off with both the star and Toadette, leaving the Captain on his own. Captain Toad must then go through stages collecting Power Stars to reach Wingo and save Toadette.
While not entirely in-depth, Captain Toad’s storyline gives a simple mini-game, which originated from the days of Super Mario 3D World, a new lease on on life and turns it into a totally enjoyable full-length title. When it comes to gameplay, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker features around 70 puzzle filled stages. While the game starts off easy, things start to get a lot more challenging the further you venture into the title.
After completing a level additional challenges, for the same level, are unlocked. These include not blowing up a bridge; defeating all enemies within a level; or even stealthily avoiding a group of enemies for the duration of a level. These additional challenges really expand upon the gameplay featured through out this spectacular title. To add to this, while each stage is not entirely too large, there are plenty of nooks and crannies that Captain Toad can explore, which may even reveal a secret or two if you can find them.
Another aspect of gameplay that also makes this title more challenging is the fact that none of the protagonists can jump. This makes Coins one level up difficult to obtain unless you use your head. While jumping would have been welcomed, it would have made Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker far too easy to complete. After completing a number of stages, players will also be faced with a boss battle. While these are not too hard to complete… they can be tricky at times.
While Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a fantastic title it does however suffer from a few minor issues. While viewing a level the gamepad uses both the built-in gyroscope as well as the option to use the analogue sticks to rotate the camera; however, with no option no deactivate the gyroscope the gamepad needs to be kept still in order to avoid moving the camera around unintentionally. This can become frustrating at certain points, but it can be eliminated with a steady hand.
When it comes to graphics and sound, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a great looking title. It is vibrant, colourful and visually appealing. To add to this, each level as well as character model has been designed to perfection. On the sound side of things, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker features some delightful background music which really adds to the atmosphere of this title. Another thing that has to be mentioned is that this title manages to portray its entire storyline without the use of text, which in my opinion is not a simple task to pull off.
Overall, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a delightful and challenging title that will keep you entertained for hours on end. To add to this, it looks great and will appeal not only to younger players, but also older players.
In its entirety, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker takes the core concepts of the original mini-game and turns it into a full-length title that every Wii U owner should experience. Let’s just hope that the next title, if one is launched or in development, allows players the option to turn off the gyroscope on the Wii U gamepad.