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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Wii U Review

LET’S BE REDUCTIVE!

Happiness is good for you. Fact! Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a game that, for a huge portion of my time with it, made me feel very happy as I played. If you want to be happy (and everyone should want to be happy!), then buy Captain Toad post-haste. It will make you happy (promise). Review done! Happiness level is very high.

What’s that Ben? This review needs to be longer? It cannot be published on the site until more words are added to it? I guess I can expand on my feelings a bit more… I am so happy after all.

Note: I am going to give the game a 9/10. I will post a screenshot now, don’t bother scrolling past it, go get the game. Listen to this to pass the time.

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Hello and Welcome to DarkZero Review Extra: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Edition Volume #1

For an idea that started out life as a bit-part minigame included in Super Mario 3D World, the gameplay on show in Toad’s offshoot adventures are perfectly suited to the diminutive heroes of the Mushroom Kingdom branching out to star in a full-sized game to call their own. Most people I talked to (and listened to – that means podcasts, not stalking), felt those brief Toad intermissions dotted throughout Mario’s recent Wii U adventure were perfectly suited for expansion. After experiencing those choice morsels, everyone seemingly wanted more Toad, and for once Nintendo perkily listened, and reacted to the call very quickly. The result is a fully fledged game that shares much with the original outings – but one that also boast a few changes.

The main change is that players are now given a broader range of minutiae to collect – which is par for the course for the current crop of Nintendo developed games. Instead of nabbing five stars to complete a level, like in the original outing, only one is needed to be allowed to progress now. There are other things to collect if you want to 100% levels, and of course there is no dount you willwant to obsessively strive to do that because ¡¡VIDEOGAMES!!

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Offering one huge collectathon to players is not the game’s sole mindset – although diligent collection of everything on show is needed to see absolutely everything that the game has to offer. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is very much a puzzler at heart. Unless you venture to the very end of the very last pieces of bonus content, the game rarely becomes solely a challenge of your reflexes, instead choosing to mostly test your observation skills (and sometimes your patience should that fail you).

As you’d expect from such a game, you have direct control of Toad (and sometimes Toadette), and can freely maneuver both heroes around the environment. The only other main player interaction with the game is to move the camera. With these two deceptively simple gameplay mechanics in tow, you are tasked with besting a long list of self-contain levels – that total near 100 if you include bonus content. On some levels it may be easy to spin the camera around, and find the quickest route to the star to beat the level, but the real fun of the game comes from examining levels from all angles to find the hidden items stashed away. Once you go into the game with the right mindset (this is more a Puzzler than a Platformer after all), doing this rarely falls into the trap of becoming a chore, as there is enough diversity introduced as the game develops to keep entertainment levels high.

I’ve almost forgot to mention that one of the bigger changes from a Nintendo game emblazoned with the word “Mario,” is that Toad does not have the ability to jump. The game even has a storyline conceit for this – his backpack is too heavy. This reasoning is both equal parts silly and charmfully endearing. Similarly pleasing is that instead of this affliction becoming a handicap to our hero’s progress, it turns out to be one of the core reasons behind the game’s distinct feel and charm.

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Treasure Tracker may not bring the near endless innovation seen from a brand new core Mario release, but I do not hold that as a criticism against it. Instead, it manages to be engaging enough to be both compelling and charming in its own unique way – that very much suits its titular character. There may not be boundless imagination on show here, but there is certainly enough singular standout moments worth witnessing – more than enough to make it easy to heartily recommend the game to anyone still reading after I told you to stop paragraphs ago.

Ultimately this is a game that should cheer most up, even from the dullest of moods, and possibly make them feel a bit tingly in the process – due to the near saccharin levels of sheer cuteness on screen at all times. You could almost call it the video game equivalent of an ASMR video – but a lot less creepy and weird.

9 out of 10