Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Packaging artwork in North America
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD Tokyo
1-UP Studio[1]
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Kenta Motokura
Shinya Hiratake
Producer(s) Koichi Hayashida
Composer(s) Mahito Yokota
Naoto Kubo
Platform(s) Wii U
Release date(s)
  • JP: November 13, 2014
  • NA: December 5, 2014
  • UK: December 21, 2014
  • EU: January 2, 2015
  • AU: January 3, 2015
Genre(s) Action puzzle
Mode(s) Single-player

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 an action puzzle video game developed by Nintendo EAD Tokyo and 1-UP Studio, and published by Nintendo for the Wii U. The game is a spin-off of the Super Mario series which builds upon a minigame originally featured in Super Mario 3D World. First announced at Nintendo's E3 2014 digital event, the game was released in Japan on November 13, 2014,[2] December 5, 2014 in North America,[3] December 21, 2014 in the UK,[4] January 2, 2015 in the rest of Europe and January 3, 2015 in Australia.[5]


E3 2014 screenshot of the game.

The game 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 and his companion Toadette into safely navigating through various obstacles and reach a gold star at the end of each level.[6] Completing the game allows players to see the link between Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and Super Mario 3D World, and having save data from the latter or beating Treasure Tracker allows players to play four 3D World levels as Captain Toad.

The player can manipulate the camera to view around the level, which can reveal hidden areas containing bonus items. Both characters can be hit once before dying, but they collect mushrooms to restore their health. As in Super Mario 3D World, Captain Toad can also walk and run, but cannot jump while carrying a heavy backpack. As in Super Mario Bros. 2, he can pull up plants from the ground, which yield either collecting coins or throwing turnips at enemies. He can also use Super Pickax to clear out enemies and obstacle blocks, that is similar to the hammer in Donkey Kong. The game makes use of the Wii U GamePad's features, as the player can touch the screen to manipulate platforms and use gyroscopic controls to aim turnips while riding mine carts.[7] The game makes use of amiibo: using the Toad amiibo places a "pixel Toad" in levels for Captain Toad to find, in the style of hide and seek; other figurines give the player extra lives.[8]


The game opens for both book one and two with Toad and Toadette getting the Power Star at the top of the building, until the villainous giant crow named Wingo takes the star and kidnaps either Toad or Toadette. As the game progresses, Toad and Toadette defeat Draggadon, the king of Pyropuff Peak. At the end of book two, Wingo kidnaps Toadette and sends Toad flying away from the battle tower.

In book three, Wingo leaves the cave with the star, before Toadette escapes and attempts to reunite with Toad. As Wingo kidnaps Toadette again and goes to the watch tower, Toad climbs up to it filled with treasures and throws the summoned giant turnip at Wingo who swallows it for heavy weight and falls from the sky, freeing Toadette and the star. At the end of book three, Toad rushes off alone, pursues the falling Green Star in the glass pipe and enters it, setting the stage for Super Mario 3D World.


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 Shigeru Miyamoto to make Link from The Legend of Zelda as a 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.[9]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 81.01%[10]
Metacritic 81/100[11]
Review scores
Publication Score
Famitsu 34/40[12]
GameTrailers 9/10[13]
Giant Bomb 3/5 stars[14]
IGN 8.2/10[15]
Nintendo World Report 9/10[16]
Polygon 8.5/10[17]
Hardcore Gamer 4.5/5[18]


Treasure Tracker was well-received upon its reveal at E3 2014. Calling it "the best Nintendo spin-off in years", Eurogamer described the game as the lead character's "proper introduction" and "the fully-realised experience that his earlier debut [in Super Mario 3D World] deserved".[19] Polygon declared 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".[20]


The game received positive reviews. It received an aggregated score of 81.01% on GameRankings based on 54 reviews[10] and 81/100 on Metacritic based on 75 reviews.[11]

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.[15]

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.[14]

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."[18]

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.[16]


Approximately 250,000 copies were sold during its first month in the United States.[21] In Japan, roughly 155,000 copies of the game had been sold by the end of June 2015.[22]


List of awards and nominations
Year Awards Category Result Ref.
2014 GameTrailers' Best of 2014 Best Puzzle/Adventure Nominated [23]
Best Wii U Exclusive Nominated [24]
2015 IGN's Best of 2014 Best Puzzle Game Nominated [25]
Best Puzzle Game - People's Choice Won [26]
Best Wii U Game Nominated [27]


  1. ^ "開発情報 - 1-UP STUDIO INC.". 1-UP Studio. Archived from the original on 2015-02-01. Retrieved 2014-12-14. 
  2. ^ "Captain Toad introduction video". Nintendo Japan. October 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ "NoA PR - Info on Smash Wii U (Launching Nov 21st), amiibo and Captain Toad (Launching Dec 5th)". goNintendo. October 9, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-10-10. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Nintendo AU NZ on Twitter". Nintendo Australia. 
  6. ^ Parish, Jeremy (June 23, 2014). "Does the World Need Another Mario Spin-off? Yes, When It Stars Captain Toad". US Gamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved September 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Captain Toad from Super Mario 3D World gets his own Wii U spin-off". Polygon. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ Agnello, Anthony John (August 29, 2014). "Nintendo reveals first Amiibo figures and prices, but no release date". Joystiq. Retrieved September 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ Otero, José (December 2, 2014). "How Captain Toad Became the Star of His Own Game". IGN. Archived from the original on December 3, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for Wii U". GameRankings. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for Wii U Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  12. ^ Eggmond (November 4, 2014). "Famitsu Review Scores 11/4/14 - Feat. Captain Toad Treasure Tracker". GoNintendo. Archived from the original on December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker". GameTrailers. December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Ryckert, Dan (December 1, 2014). "Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Review". Giant Bomb. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Sliva, Marty (December 1, 2014). "Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Review". IGN. Archived from the original on December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Bonds, Curtis (December 1, 2014). "Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Review". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker review: adventure time". Polygon. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b Creegan, Dermot (December 9, 2014). "Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved December 14, 2014. 
  19. ^ Phillips, Tom (July 14, 2014). "Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is the best Nintendo spin-off in years". Eurogamer. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  20. ^ McWhertor, Michael (June 16, 2014). "Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker will make you fall in love with the mine cart level". Polygon. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  21. ^ Brian (2015-01-16). "December 2014 NPD: Captain Toad sells around 250,000 copies". Nintendo Everything. Archived from the original on 2015-04-29. 
  22. ^ Brian (2015-08-05). "Top 100 best-selling games in Japan during the first half of 2015". Nintendo Everything. Archived from the original on 2015-08-06. 
  23. ^ "GameTrailers Best of 2014 Awards - Best Puzzle/Adventure". GameTrailers. December 25, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2014. 
  24. ^ "GameTrailers Best of 2014 Awards - Best Wii U Exclusive". GameTrailers. December 30, 2014. Retrieved December 30, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Winner: Best Puzzle - Monument Valley". IGN. Ziff Davis. January 13, 2015. Archived from the original on February 20, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  26. ^ "People's Choice Winner - Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker". IGN. Ziff Davis. January 13, 2015. Archived from the original on February 20, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Winner: Best Wii U Game - Mario Kart 8". IGN. Ziff Davis. January 13, 2015. Archived from the original on January 13, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 

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