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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Switch)

Posted by GG Goblin On July - 25 - 2018

Captain Toad tracks treasure on the Switch.

Nintendo do a lot of things right. They make interesting hardware, always polish their games to the highest level and make sure that fun is at the core of everything they do. They also make the cutest mascots, and Captain Toad has to be one of the greatest. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker began life as a series of little mini games designed to break up the frantic platforming action of Super Mario 3D World before being made into its own game for the Wii U, which I reviewed back in 2015. Partially because of an awkward launch time and partially due to the lack of success of the Wii U console, Captain Toad never really got the attention he deserved for his treasure hunting adventure. But all is good, because the intrepid little hero, and his companion Toadette, now get another attempt to wow gamers with their puzzling prowess as Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker lands on the Nintendo Switch.

cttt1 (Copy)

Treasure Tracker is not your usual Nintendo platformer, but more of a puzzle game featuring the titular Captain Toad, and Toadette, as they not only hunt for treasure, but also rescue each other after being picked up by a giant bird. So far as stories go, Treasure Tracker is a bit light on the ground. But who needs a story when there is shiny treasure to collect?

Each level is laid out like a little 3D cube diorama. The goal is usually quite simple, work out how Toad can get to the shiny star. In practice though, this can be a little more tricky. Toad is carrying a lot of adventuring gear, and as such moves at a relatively slow pace and cannot jump. Players will have to rotate the stage in order to plot a route to the star, which may involve the likes of secret, hidden tunnels, avoiding enemies and climbing ladders. While getting to the star and completing a level may end up being quite easy once the player has the route sorted out, there are other collectibles to be found in each of the levels, including three diamonds per level, that will give completionists more of a headache.

There are more than seventy levels in the game, but it is not all the same as boss battles and the occasional special level will see players getting plenty of variety as they work towards being master treasure trackers. New mechanics, such as being able to shoot enemies with turnips or drop onto the heads of enemies, keep things fresh as play moves on. While the game never really strays into the hardcore level of difficulty, the developers have to be commended in how complex they have managed to make each of the levels.

cttt2 (Copy)

But a lot of the appeal of Treasure Tracker has to come down to how good the game looks. As is common with Nintendo titles, this game is polished to within an inch of its life. It was a stunning game on the Wii U, but on the Switch it is easily one of the best looking games so far, both in handheld and big screen mode. The levels have different themes which add flavour as they float there in the sky. Toad, Toadette and all of the other characters in the game all look great and are packed full of personality. Obviously the game will look better on the big screen, thanks to the higher native resolution, but this is a game that feels too perfect for the handheld to worry about which way looks best.

This is a fairly straight forward port onto Switch however, which may put those who did actually enjoy the game on the Wii U off. The differences are not huge. The Super Mario 3D World bonus levels have been dropped, replaced by some rather nifty Super Mario Odyssey levels. These can be unlocked through regular gameplay, but are available off the bat for those who happen to have a Super Mario Odyssey Amiibo. The pixel Toad hide and seek game, which was previously unlocked on Wii U with an Amiibo, is now available once a level has been completed and involves hunting the dioramas for hidden pixel Toads. It’s short lived and fairly pointless, but can be fun for younger players. Otherwise, we are mostly talking about the inclusion of co-op multiplayer, with one player controlling Toad and the other controlling the camera and on screen pointer. Again, this is a throwaway mode which will likely provide plenty of fun before the serious game playing begins.

cttt3 (Copy)

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was excellent on the Wii U and remains excellent on the Switch. It’s still quite short, but so enjoyable to play and really will appeal to all ages and abilities. The only real problem is the lack of additional content over the Wii U version, which makes it difficult to recommend to those who played it before. But then, it’s been a few years, so maybe now is the time to start tracking treasure again. For compelling puzzle play with a feel good factor and bundles of cuteness, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is the real treasure waiting to be found.




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