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Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Nintendo Switch)By Adam Riley At 11.07.2018 14:35

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Captain Toad goes on a mission to rescue Toadette from a giant crow called Wingo. Then, in a fun reversal, after saving her, he gets captured and she treks off to bring him back home safely… That all sounds similar, yet also fundamentally different from a regular Mario adventure, right? Since, after all, Mario goes off to save Princess Peach each and every time, rather than vice versa. However, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is no standard platform romp, either, so of course its story has a topsy-turvy feel. Instead, it is a series of stages packed with intricate puzzle scenarios for players to face. They are no walk in the park, either, quickly ramping up in complexity to ensure there is enough challenge for all quarters, whilst remaining simple enough at the core to welcome the more casual gamer into the fold.

Each level faced is somewhat like a diorama, or maybe even a Rubik's Cube, in that they are a smaller sized world that can be rotated around, zooming in and out at will to get the best viewpoint as Toad (or Toadette) is guided around the confines of tight corridors, searching out gems, coins, and the main objective of a golden star, discovering hidden goodies and passages along the way. The twist is that there is no jumping in Captain Toad because of his heavy backpack, so platforms must be raised or lowered as required, slopes carefully utilised (since, in some cases, once down, there is no going back up!), dark tunnels navigated using his handy head-torch, and nearby limited turnip supplies wisely despatched to get rid of pesky enemies en route to the end goal.

Throw in some smart use of the touchscreen for dragging certain elements around or rotating them, and even a smidgen of motion controls for firing off projectiles on special minecart levels, and what initially seems like a basic, throwaway title opens up to reveal itself as an expertly crafted labour of love. There are also additional levels now added in to make this even more appealing for those that tried it out on Wii U, with stages based on Super Mario Odyssey, plus there is a nice little two-player co-operative function included, whereby the second player can use pointer controls to interact with various objects and fire turnips on the appropriate levels. On top of all this, there are even crafty boss battles, which are a delight in the way they are constructed, given how Toad cannot jump or attack in the expected manner. The best thing of all, though? Whereas the port of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze weighed in at a wallet-busting £49.99, the delectable delights of Treasure Tracker will only set you back a much more palatable £34.99! Well worth the investment.

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Final Score
[i]Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker[/i] is an absolute joy to behold, from its cute visual styling and delicious soundtrack and audio utterances from the main characters, to the expertly crafted self-contained stages, jam-packed with smart puzzles to solve and a plethora of goodies to uncover. This was one of those Wii U gems that thoroughly deserved another shot at the limelight, and with its excellent new additions now, it is indeed time to shine bright.



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