Review

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Nintendo Switch Review: Time For Adventure

  • First Released Dec 5, 2014
    released
  • NS

Still a treasure.

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Nintendo has all but cornered the market on streamlined, cute adventures for all ages. While Captain Toad made his first appearance in Super Mario Galaxy, he's since been spun off into his own puzzle-platforming series based on a very different type of design philosophy than you may be used to. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker debuted on the Wii U back in 2014, but as Nintendo moves much of its legacy system's library onto the Switch, Toad has another shot at stardom. And it's certainly a worthy outing--even four years on--for anyone who appreciates clever puzzles.

The core gameplay conceit is one of level design. You'll need to rotate a cuboid world around Captain Toad as you look for clues and solutions from multiple angles. Each move helps change the level, affecting how different parts react to one another and to you. As you turn the stage, you can see different pieces and elements. It's not uncommon to shift things around and notice a "POW" block in a convenient location. Toss a turnip from the other side, and you can dissolve a wall with its power and move through.

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Perspective matters, and the obstacles that can affect how you use your perspective are fertile ground for spectacular puzzles. And it allows a breadth of pacing options as well. Some stages feel tense and rushed, but some are set against calming pink clouds. A calm stage can be followed immediately by one filled with foes and traps, though, shifting where and how you focus your attention. The progression is steady enough--both within stages and across them--that you'll be left, more often than not, feeling clever and encouraged.

This is all true for both the Wii U and Switch versions, but the Switch version adds in a few things, most notably local co-operative multiplayer. Ostensibly a distinctive addition (as there's also a 3DS port that lacks it), it is poorly executed the majority of the time. Each player gets one of the Switch's Joy-Cons, splitting the typical play into two roles. One handles Toad's movement, while the other dispatches enemies and shifts the camera. It's a bizarre twist that could feel a lot more developed than it is. As it works, neither role gives much for its player to do and having enemies largely handled by one person cuts down on the scope of the platforming and the puzzles, making each stage feel like a cut-down version instead of a solid addition in its own right.

That said, the sharper screen on the Switch and addition of about a dozen new areas and modes make this version a strictly better choice, and the short, relatively simple stages of Captain Toad lend themselves to a portable environment. Of course, it also carries with it the weaknesses of its forebear. Even with the bonus content, Treasure Tracker is a bit short. You're left with the sense that there could be plenty more and that the idea of rotating through levels doesn't get its full due.

Despite a smattering of minor complaints, Captain Toad stands as a pint-sized version of Nintendo's stellar first party pedigree. It's among the best Mario spin-offs around and a delightful iteration on old ideas.

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The Good
Near-perfect pacing throughout
Clever puzzles and creative remixes of Nintendo’s classic platforming tropes
New stages and areas unique to Switch are excellent additions
The Bad
The idea of rotating levels isn't fully explored
Co-op isn't compelling
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

About the Author

Dan Starkey, like just about everyone, loves a satisfying platformer. He spent a total of nine hours tracking treasure on this adventure: seven for the single player mode with added stages and chapters and another two spent in co-op.
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sebalayo

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Edited By sebalayo

i´m tired of the " is a bit short " that is so stupid why do you want a game to be gigantic some experiences aren't meant to be that long i already found that the game is too long for me so short it is not.

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dzimm

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@sebalayo: In my experience, a good game is always too short, and a bad game is always too long.

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twztid13

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I will definitely support the 3ds version since it's actually in 3d (surprise). I would think gamespot would do a review of it, too, no?

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JustPlainLucas

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I get recouping their losses on Wii U games, but I've always felt this one should have been a sequel instead...

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Gelugon_baat

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Edited By Gelugon_baat

Up until today, I can't fathom why Nintendo thinks that Toad's voice-over is worth keeping. It's like someone has a mostly dry throat and whatever moisture left is in phlegm.

Contrasting it with Toadette's voice-over makes Toad's voice-over seem even more unbelievable.

But then this is coming from a company whose prominent persons said that Mario is a little over 20 years old, is not a plumber and his surname is Mario.

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so_hai

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This looks great. Could someone please let me know how many levels there are to play? Is there a reason to replay a level as well?

Thanks in advance.

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Solaryellow

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@so_hai: If my math is correct, there seems to be a bit over 80 levels and besides the three diamonds, a hidden objective is active on each level as well as finding Toad.

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so_hai

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@Solaryellow: Thanks buddy.

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Xristophoros

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i want the 3ds review... thanks.

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ballaShotCaller

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Edited By ballaShotCaller

@Xristophoros: check out digital foundry they did a whole vid on comparing the two. looks like 3DS version really holds up and has 3D enabled plus it's better for the touch controls. only downside is it's 30fps.

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lxf12

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Edited By lxf12

I loved this game on the Wii U. I do feel many of these legacy games are getting a pass for being rereleased essentially unchanged besides a few minor improvements. I remember as a Wii U user waiting long periods before another Nintendo release. Of course I would buy the new title and play it over and over again do to lack of titles. Now I own a switch and many, many Nintendo releases are the same titles with the explanation now others can enjoy too. This would be better if Nintendo had more new titles but as they don't; besides a very limited few, this feels for me like more waiting for new games and wondering what Nintendo is actually spending its time doing. I think reviews of these games should be slightly more critical if they really are reviews and representing the readers of these articles what value these games actually have being rereleased several years later. Full price for these games isn't fair and Nintendo should be asking half the original prices now for what is being called "Legacy" titles.

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tetrapod

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@lxf12: Octopath Traveler!

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker More Info

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  • First Released Dec 5, 2014
    released
    • 3DS
    • Nintendo Switch
    • Wii U
    The intrepid Captain Toad sets off on his own adventure for the very first time through a wide variety of tricky, enemy-infested, maze-like stages to find hidden gems and nab elusive gold stars.
    8
    Average Rating72 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
    Developed by:
    Nintendo Software Technology, Nintendo EAD Tokyo
    Published by:
    Nintendo
    Genre(s):
    Platformer, Action, 3D
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Everyone
    Mild Cartoon Violence