Stitchy in Tooki Trouble (Nintendo Switch) Review

By James Grech 16.06.2021

Review for Stitchy in Tooki Trouble on Nintendo Switch

The hero sleeps at home, surrounded by a hoard of their favourite food, when suddenly an armada of tiki-themed creatures blindsight them and steal it all. The hero then embarks on a mission to get their food back, traveling through jungles, snowscapes, and on minecarts, all the while jumping on the thieves, and collecting secret items in a colourful 2D platforming adventure. If this sounds familiar it should, as that is the plot of Donkey Kong Country Returns. Stitchy in Tooki Trouble takes this plot and gameplay loop, and simplifies it into its most mundane state, providing players with an uninspired and poorly executed imitation of one of the best platformers ever made.

Stitchy the scarecrow begins the game sleeping amongst his cornfield, when a group of tiki monsters known as the Tooki come and steal the corn - swap corn for bananas and it is Donkey Kong Country. That is the extent of the game's story. After a short cutscene, developer and publisher Polygoat swiftly gets players to the world map. Loading into the game and it's levels are quick thanks to good load times. The world map consists of three separate islands, each with nine levels, a boss level and a secret level. The world map is serviceable, but nothing original. Once in a level, Stitchy must get to the end without dying, collecting corn along the way. One hundred corn earns Stitchy a life, and reloading to checkpoints after dying is fast. Every level is very easy however, so using a life is infrequent. Inaccurate enemy hitboxes can frustratingly kill Stitichy, or unfortunate platform design choices have Stitchy fall to his death when he really shouldn't have.

Each level also offers two extra collectables. When finishing a stage, players are awarded with one to three stars based on how quickly they complete a level. These stars don't do anything in the game. There are no unlockables or secrets that can be earned by getting three stars in each level. They are pointless. Furthermore, the KONG letters and puzzle pieces from the Donkey Kong Country games are replaced by three tiki totems to collect in each level. Collecting all these totems in each island unlocks that island's secret level. These are just simply more levels. No special gimmick, no harder challenge, nothing. The biggest waste of potential amongst these collectables are that the totems are remarkably easy to find. Most players will be able to three-star a level and collect all its totems in one run through. The boss fights at the end of each world are also repetitive and frustrating, with grievous hitbox detection and unimaginative boss design.

Screenshot for Stitchy in Tooki Trouble on Nintendo Switch

Getting through these levels is a slow and boring process. Stitchy is only able to double-jump and ground pound. That's it. No sprinting, no attacks, no thematic skills, nothing. For a game so heavily inspired by Nintendo platformers, there isn't an ounce of creative liberty to set Stitchy apart from his platformer cohort. That's not to say this doesn't play well. Stitchy is responsive and easy to move around, it's just really banal to do so. His personality is as basic as his skill set. Stitchy is an emotionless, plain looking scarecrow. There are no expressions on his face or sounds he makes as he jumps around. There is no character shown off at all. An argument can be made that the simplicity of the gameplay is designed with children in mind, but with a title character as uncreative as Stitchy, the target audience for this game is unclear.

It's difficult not to compare the Donkey Kong Country series with this, when, atop of everything mentioned so far, the art direction, enemy design and platforming sequences are pulled directly from DK's adventures. The backgrounds and environments of each level play with the foreground, and are colourful and well designed. Credit where credit is due, this game looks good and runs well. It's a shame that it's all something that's been done before and done better. The soundtrack doesn't do much to ascend its art direction. The tunes are serviceable at best, but forgettable overall.

The enemies are also very familiar, and though each island offers a handful of unique enemy designs to fit their environment, Stitchy usually encounters the same five enemies over and over again across the entire game. Any ideas introduced early in each world, like the swinging chains in the jungle, or the icy floors in the tundra, are leaned on heavily, and not altered creatively in any way. New ideas that are introduced in a given level, like rising tides, or falling crates, are executed poorly, and then never seen again. Obnoxiously, this even has a handful of minecart levels which are comparably the most humdrum versions of Donkey Kong's iconic minecart stages. They are as slow as they are unnecessary.

Screenshot for Stitchy in Tooki Trouble on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Nintendo Switch owners looking for their next platforming adventure need not pay this game any attention. Though it is pretty to look at and plays well, it is so forgettable that anything done right is overwhelmingly overshadowed by how unenjoyable and uninspired it is. From its level design, enemy encounters, and platforming sequences, to its lead character, collectables, and soundtrack, there is nothing worthwhile in Stitchy in Tooki Trouble. Just go buy Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.

Developer

Polygoat

Publisher

Polygoat

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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

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