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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (2014)

Adventures In Diversity With Captain Toad
by Kyle Hilliard on Nov 06, 2014 at 04:00 AM
Platform Wii U
Publisher Nintendo
Developer Nintendo
Rating Everyone

We recently got a chance to play through 11 stages of the upcoming Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and each level offered a distinct set of mechanics and visuals.

It’s surprising how much of an extension Treasure Tracker – at this pre-release stage – feels to Super Mario 3D World. You may not be able to jump, but many mechanics from both the Mario levels and the Captain Toad levels appear in Treasure Tracker. Some levels prove to be surprisingly difficult as well, which shouldn’t be surprising considering World is home to one of 3D Mario’s most difficult trials.

[Editorial intern Jason Dafnis contributed to this preview]

Walleye Tumble Temple
An early level in the game, this one is fairly straightforward. There is a bridge leading directly to the level’s end goal, but if you start walking on it, it collapses. There is an added challenge to complete the level without destroying the bridge if you attempt to replay the level. Other challenges include a few Goombas, and circular rotating platforms that reveal new paths as they move.

Shy Guy Heights
A pleasant and sunny level, it begins with a small maze and a few Shy Guys that will chase you down. There is a brick wall hiding some kind of secret; luckily, I found a pick axe power-up nearby that works a bit like the hammer item in Donkey Kong. You are temporarily invincible as you swing away with the axe, and you can use that power to break through the brick wall to discover another friendly toad.

Spinwheel Bullet Bill Base
A level filled with lava, you have to turn wheels spaced throughout the level to rotate platforms with Bullet Bill cannons on them. The bullets, as always, will knock out Toad, but you can also rotate the platforms to aim the bullets to take out obstacles.

Drop-Road Dash
One of the levels that features a familiar Super Mario 3D World element: falling platforms. You’re way up high in a clouded sky, and as you walk down the pathways, the platforms slowly drop as you touch them. You don’t have to move fast, but you do have to keep moving and make decisions about what paths you want to take.

Sinister Street Signs
This level stars Toadette, appears to be haunted, and is built so that the upper level is made up of invisible platforms that can only be seen if you’re walking on them, or you can touch the screen to reveal them. On the ground level there is a collection of enemies called Chargin’ Chucks that will chase you down and kill you. You can’t jump in Treasure Tracker, but you can fall on enemies from above to defeat them, a tactical feature of which I took advantage.

Drift-Along Canyon
Another Toadette stage, in this one you must float along a raft over a purple, poisonous swamp as Hammer Bros. toss hammers at you. You do have the option to pull up the plants and throw them at the enemies, or the out-of-reach coins off to the side. Hitting the coins with the plants counts as collecting them, which is important to remember when you pull up plants and are suddenly unsure of what to do with them.

Up ‘n’ Down Terrace
This level was more puzzle-focused as a series of buttons dictate the raising and lowering of assorted hedges. The hedges will block your paths, but when raised they can also serve as platforms for walking. This was a stage where I picked up a plant, didn’t know what to do with it, and threw it. A few minutes later, I saw an item just out of reach that I could have easily gotten by throwing a plant at it.

Beep Block Sky Plaza
A common level type in Mario 3D World, this stage saw the return of the pink and blue cubed platforms that appear and disappear in time with rhythmic beeps of the music. These levels were challenging in 3D world, and they aren’t necessarily made more challenging without the ability to jump, as much as they offer a different type of challenge.

Stumpy Springs Sanctuary
This level has an assortment of hollowed out logs that Toadette must travel through and on top of to make it to the end. There is also a water spring that can be activated to shoot Toadette up into the air, a requirement for making it to the end.

Touchstone Turmoil
This stage is as much about moving the stage itself as navigating Toadette through it. The stage is separated into two large platforms that can be shifted by touching them on the GamePad. The platforms only have two positions between which they can be moved, requiring memorization of enemy movement patterns and attentive use of camera angles as an integral element of getting to the end goal.

Magma Road Marathon
Magma Road Marathon is built on fast-paced maneuvering across treacherously thin platforms. Dash Panels, another mechanic borrowed from Super Mario 3D World, present yet another layer of challenge in Captain Toad; Toad’s inability to jump prevents him from slowing down to regain control after walking over a Dash Panel. It also means no viable shortcuts, requiring you to run pretty much the whole gauntlet to grab the Power Star at the end.

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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (2014)cover

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (2014)

Wii U
Release Date: