There’s a reason why Mario headlines Super Mario Bros games. And that’s because Luigi has yet to learn to properly assert his lanky ass in the franchise. But beyond, the series is filled with other memorable characters who have had a chance to shine. Princess Peach, Bowser and Wario have all had their own games. And now, that humble little bit of funky fungi, Toad, is getting his own chance in the spotlight.
Reviews for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, a game which takes some of the better bits of the rather excellent Super Mario 3D World and runs wild with the 3D puzzle idea. Here’s what various outlets have to say:
Polygon – 8.5/10
For anybody else, Captain Toad‘s weird little experiment would be an afterthought. But Nintendo’s exercise in digging has found something pretty special — an action puzzle game that succeeds on charm and smarts, rather than reflexes and spectacle.
Game Informer – 83/100
Toad doesn’t jump, he doesn’t attack, and he doesn’t make use of any power ups (aside from a short-lived pickaxe) and yet Nintendo extracts more entertainment from this character’s simple gameplay concepts than I thought possible. Mario isn’t featured in this title, but Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker shares the same creative spark that so often fuels games bearing the Mario name.
IGN – 8.2/10
Treasure Tracker takes the core concept of Captain Toad and runs wild with it. It’s a smart, adorable puzzle game that presents some awesome locales and really rewards you for taking the time to unpack them. Despite the control issues and menu problems, Captain Toad Treasure Tracker proves that you can still be great without being Super.
Gamespot – 8/10
Were Captain Toad’s world not so appealing, it would be easy to grow tired of the repeat playthroughs if you need to go back and collect items like I did, but the cartoony, whimsical Mushroom Kingdom is easy to love, with layer upon layer of charm. From goombas in swim rings that flap their little feet underwater, to the tiny birds that land on Toad’s head when he’s idly wasting time, Treasure Tracker has a lighthearted and lovable presentation. It has the right mix of atmosphere and challenging puzzles to keep you engaged, and it’s a great experiment within the larger Mario universe. It may have started out as a minigame, but with its original take on the Toad character and a large number of enjoyably tricky puzzles, it’s great to see it in the spotlight it so truly deserves.
Destructoid – 8/10
Captain Toad is an experience that doesn’t attempt to really wow you, but instead delivers consistent puzzle experiences at a rapid pace. There’s more Nintendo could have done with it, but it is a puzzler in its purest form, and that will be more than enough for people who wanted more of the titular hero after playing the bonus games in 3D World.
Giant Bomb – 3/5
Treasure Tracker is a charming game, but might disappoint some if they drop $40 expecting something more ambitious or substantial. If you know what you’re getting into and you’re alright with spending the money, there’s plenty of fun to be had on Captain Toad’s adventure.
The game is out soon, later this week to be exact. And it might be the perfect title to end an otherwise stellar year of first-party releases for Nintendo.
Last Updated: December 2, 2014