Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Wii U) Review

By Albert Lichi 09.12.2014 6

Review for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on Wii U

Back in 2013, Nintendo released Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U. Within that game was a little mushroom guy known as Captain Toad, who was on his own quest parallel to Mario and the gang's campaign to stick it to that fiendish Bowser. Captain Toad's levels in Super Mario 3D World were one of the highlights of that title. Simplistic yet elegant in their design, the core gameplay was simply walking and aiming the 3D camera around a compact level with hazards and collectables. While Super Mario 3D World was a platforming action game, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a puzzle-adventure game. Cubed3 reviews the daring spin-off.

Once in a while Nintendo will develop purely out of care and love. One such example is Super Mario Galaxy 2 - a game that Nintendo had no real reason to produce at all. Compared to its first instalment, Super Mario Galaxy 2 was more complex, and had more elaborate level design and new features. It was craftsmen's love that birthed Super Mario Galaxy 2, and it is those same craftsmen who poured that care into that title that gives the Wii U Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. As experienced in Super Mario 3D World, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a game made up of awesome bonus levels.

Easy to pick up and play, kids will be drawn to this title by its playful and beautifully rendered aesthetics. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker reaches almost Pixar levels of animation fidelity and expressiveness in not just the characters, but also the environments and objects. Everything has a very playful bounce to it, with rounded edges and corners giving the feel of a toy-like diorama. Liberal uses of all kinds of neat little particle effects truly do give off a magical and whimsical atmosphere. It really is amazing how this title made on Wii U hardware can stand up against PS4/Xbox One games and look as good as or better than many of the recent releases, thus proving that art trumps specs. Not only does Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker look fantastic, it is silky smooth performance-wise, and has extremely polished controls and character animation. There is a lot of care and effort in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and it feels like the team really wanted to make a quality game, completely free of cynicism for kids to enjoy.

Screenshot for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on Wii U

Controls couldn't be simpler in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Capt. Toad dosen't have the manoeuvrability like Toad in Super Mario 3D World; all he has is a headlamp and the ability to pull turnips out of the ground. It is in these limitations where true creativity in the level designers gets tested, and let it be said: Nintendo has some of the greatest level designers in the world. While there are many levels in this game (over 70) there are moments when it feels like the game designers are holding back by keeping the game's levels at such a restricted size and keeping them all really small. Keep in mind, the objective of each level is to collect a few gems and then reach the star. Playing Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for so many levels, the imagination begins to wonder, "What if there were other goals that didn't involve just reaching a star?" Granted, there is a bonus challenge for every level, too - however, each level is designed to be played a certain way.

With so many levels that are designed around one kind of goal, it would be interesting to see something shaken up. Of course, it is worth mentioning that Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker does explore this notion should players have save data from Super Mario 3D World, by putting Capt. Toad in some of the levels that Mario and company got to play in. That is not to say that Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker doesn't have variety - far from it. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker has a huge amount of variety in its level design, and once in a while introduces some mechanics from Super Mario 3D World, such as the speed boost pads, shifting touch blocks, and even throws in a boss fight once now and again. There is also a power-up item that evokes memories of Mario's hammer from Donkey Kong, and sometimes Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker becomes a rail shooter! There are some quibbles, however, that are kind of annoying, such as the inability to turn off hint prompts or an option to turn off the gyroscopic camera controls for the GamePad.

For 40 dollars, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is quite the bargain. Nintendo acknowledges that most customers may not be too enticed by a game that is effectively just bonus levels, but the amount of content is really surprising. Even after the player sees the second credits roll (yes, the game has fake out endings), Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker manages to sucker punch expectations with even more levels and post-game content where things get experimental. It took maybe about 10 hours to get to the true final boss, but even then there was still much to do and explore in newly discovered levels. Not often will 60 dollar single-player games (that aren't RPGs) offer even 10 hours' worth of content, but here is Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker at a meagre 40 dollars.

Screenshot for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker may be a humble little game that may not aim very high, but it succeeds as a quality and polished title for those who want a relaxing and easy going adventure-puzzle game. An excellent game for the kids, and any Nintendo enthusiast will enjoy this mellow title as an alternative to the frantic battles of Bayonetta 2, the wacky races of Mario Kart 8 or the beat downs of Super Smash Bros. Sometimes a fun guy just wants to chill and go on an adventure.






3D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (3 Votes)

European release date 2015   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date 2015   


Cool Just Chill Bro Smilie!....

I'm game! Good review, can't wait to give it a go - the amount of levels was my main concern, but it sounds pretty solid overall.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

Super excited for this game in a way I didn't think possible! Toad has always been one of my favourite characters in video gaming and it's fantastic to see Nintendo have finally done him justice.

Fun guy = fungi

toad is a mushroom...

Insanoflex said:
Fun guy = fungi

toad is a mushroom...

Is there anyone who didn't get that? XD

I wasn't sure if I was obvious or not.
i do love puns.

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