Games Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Switch, 2018): A Brief, But Delightful Charm

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker finally landed its port on the Switch and DS this week, having not played it on the Wii U back when it was released in November of 2014 I was extremely stoked that I would get to finally play what everyone was raving about.

I am happy to say, it has been a delight from start to finish, a game that consistently and smoothly upped the skill over the course of its 45+ levels. Captain Toad begins with Episode 1 and has 18 Chapters playing as Captain Toad and after finishing with Toad a complete surprise for me was starting an entire new Episode 2 as Toadette, after that, well I don’t want to spoil too much suffice to say the new port leads wonderfully into another Mario game that was recently released!

The goal of each level in Captain Toad is to collect the big power star and move on to the next level, but replaying levels to complete 100% can include objectives like not being hurt at all, defeating a certain type of enemy or going back in and searching for a Pixel Toad (the original looking 8-Bit Toadstool) that is planted within the level’s environments, giving the game a reason to come back to the levels a few more time and appreciate the work that’s gone into them.
Captain Toad controls are straight forward, the poor little Mushroom can’t jump but instead, he can rip up patches of grass which can contain coins (these are the entry fee to further levels), Power-Ups and Turnips which can be thrown at evil-doers that are blocking his path. The camera can be rotated in any direction to view the stage at different angles, reminding me a lot of Mario Galaxy and their planets/levels, not to mention the game looks a treat, its polished visuals both on and off the Switch dock are incredibly colourful and smooth, not a glitch in sight during my roughly 8 hours of gameplay.

To begin is quite easy, but as the levels go on, they become a tad more complicated and crowded, but in a good way, sometimes leading me to look at a level for quite some time before I even started to move. Episode 2’s levels got a tad more difficult and spiked fairly quickly, but not enough for any controller induced throwing, at times it really made me think outside my usual grey matter.

Overall, I found it quite the distraction from other, more robust and bigger releases such as God of War (Still trying to finish 100%). Sometimes it’s nice to have some quick pick up and play options that are pure joy in short bursts, my only gripes are not having a meaningful, if normally stupid, Nintendo story to go along with it. I would have loved to see more of Captain Toad cut-scenes and a meaningful story, but it is what it is, I just wish it had more to show for its fairly huge price tag when comparing it to something very similar called Monument Valley. But of course, this gives us the usual Nintendo flair and with the small added addition of the Mario Odyssey levels and a cute story tie in towards it, it makes it a worthwhile purchase for any fan of the genre, whatever this genre is!

Score: 7.5 out of 10
Highlights: Wonderfull visuals, addictive rotating level madness. Excellent replayability, Mario Odyssey tie-in and new levels.
Lowlights: No real interesting story to mould it together, pretty short for the $59.95 price tag.
Developer: Square Enix, Acquire
Publisher: Nintendo
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS/2DS
Available: Now

Review conducted on Nintendo Switch with a retail code provided by the publisher.