Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
|Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker|
Packaging artwork in North America
|Developer(s)||Nintendo EAD Tokyo Group No. 2
|Distribution||Optical disc, download|
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, known in Japan as Susume! Kinopio-taichō (進め! キノピオ隊長?, lit. March Onwards! Captain Kinopio), is a puzzle platform video game developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo and published by Nintendo for the Wii U. The game is a spin-off of the Mario series which builds upon a minigame originally featured in 2013's Super Mario 3D World, and supports Amiibo figurines. First announced at Nintendo's E3 2014 digital event, the game was released in Japan on November 13, 2014, and December 5, 2014 in North America, and will be releasing December 21, 2014 in the UK, January 2, 2015 in the rest of Europe, and January 3, 2015 in Australia.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker builds upon the Adventures of Captain Toad minigame within Super Mario 3D World, where the basic gameplay model had been first introduced. In the game, players control Captain Toad, or sometimes his companion Toadette, who must safely navigate through various obstacles in order to reach a gold star at the end of each level.
The player can manipulate the camera to view around the level, which can reveal hidden areas containing bonus items. Captain Toad can be hit twice before dying, and can collect mushrooms to restore his health. As in Super Mario 3D World, Captain Toad is able to walk and run, but unable to jump. Toad can pull up plants from the ground, which yield either coins to be collected or turnips to be thrown at enemies. He can collect a pickaxe that, similar to the hammer found in Donkey Kong, briefly allows him the ability to clear out enemies and obstacle blocks. The game makes use of the Wii U GamePad's features, as the player can touch the screen to manipulate platforms, as well as use gyroscopic controls to aim turnips while riding mine carts. The game makes use of Amiibo figurines.
Early in the development of Super Mario 3D World, Nintendo created prototypes of various gameplay ideas, including what IGN described as small "diorama-like levels the player could twist and turn." However, when the team added a character who could jump, they realized the levels would have to increase in size. They decided to keep the small-scale course design by eliminating jumping entirely, which also forced them to choose a player character other than Mario or Luigi. Director Shinya Hiratake suggested to Shigeru Miyamoto that Link from The Legend of Zelda series should be the playable character, but Miyamoto instructed him to choose a different one. The developers then realized that Captain Toad, a background character from the Super Mario Galaxy games, would fit the role due to his heavy backpack, which they reasoned would weigh too much and keep him from jumping. Originally, the team thought the levels could form their own game, but instead a few were included in Super Mario 3D World. After 3D World was finished in late 2013, Miyamoto found that the Captain Toad levels reminded him of one of his earlier gameplay ideas inspired by the Rubik's Cube, so he suggested they create a separate Captain Toad game.
Calling it "the best Nintendo spin-off in years", Eurogamer describes the game as the lead character's "proper introduction" and "the fully-realised experience that his earlier debut [in Super Mario 3D World] deserved". Polygon declares that the game "will make you fall in love with the mine cart level", comparing some levels to a "Super Mario desert environment", and others to a "Luigi's Mansion-style ghost house".
Marty Sliva of IGN gave the game 8.2/10. He enjoyed the "sense of discovery" when looking around stages with the right-stick-controlled camera, exploring every area, and finding what he could interact with using the GamePad's touch screen. Sliva thought the variety of stages kept the game "feeling fresh" during his entire playthrough. However, he found that the use of the controller's gyroscope would cause the camera to "[spin] out of control whenever [he] moved [his] wrists," and that paging through the storybook-themed menus to find optional objectives is needlessly time-consuming.
Giant Bomb's Dan Ryckert thought the game was "plenty of fun" and greatly appreciated the replay value when finding the three optional Super Gems in each level, but he found the ultimate goal in each stage repetitive and that, even at an MSRP two-thirds that of a full-priced game, "the offering [felt] a bit thin." He awarded the game three stars out of five.
Hardcore Gamer's Dermot Creegan gave the game a 4.5/5, calling it a "delightful experience" and praising the level design, creativity and art direction. He criticized the forced gyroscope functionality, but was more praising of the other Wii U features saying they "succeed in bringing a dash of extra variety and creativity from time to time."
Nintendo World Report's Curtis Bonds liked the "very tricky and clever level design" and thought that finding all the collectibles in each level was "extremely satisfying." While the game made "clever" use of the GamePad, he found the gyroscopic camera controls "annoying" and was disappointed by the game's spartan menus in addition to assets recycled from Super Mario 3D World. He gave Captain Toad 9/10.
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