Controller PORT: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker


Photo Credit: Yazlet

Michael Puglisi, Contributor

One of my favorite video game genres is the puzzle genre. It contains a wide variety of games, from Tetris to Monument Valley. So when Nintendo made Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, combining puzzle games with the Mario series, I took special notice. As soon as it was ported to the Nintendo Switch, I made sure to pick it up.

The game starts as Captain Toad (from Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 3D World) and Toadette (as seen in the Mario Kart series, the Mario Party games, and numerous Mario sports games) retrieve a star. Suddenly, Wingo, a giant bird swoops in and lifts off with the star, taking Toadette with him. Captain Toad sets off after Toadette and her kidnapper.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker revolves around a few mechanics. Captain Toad cannot jump, changing the way you approach the level as opposed to a normal Mario. You can also pull up on plant shoots sticking out of the ground, finding coins and items to collect, or turnips which can be thrown at enemies to destroy them. Other puzzle elements are gradually added in as the game progresses. In each level, you must pass various trials to reach the star, the primary objective. For different levels of completion, you can find all three crystals and complete a specific objective for each stage.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a port of a Wii U game of the same name. And while it does feature new levels based on Super Mario Odyssey, it does come with a drawback. In handheld mode, you must tap on the screen to move certain glowing blocks. When the Switch is docked, you control these functions by moving a pointer on screen by moving the controller, which takes the player out of the game a bit. Some people will mind this more than others.

The game is firmly set in the aesthetics of Super Mario 3D World, as Captain Toad passes through a number of different levels, including the standard Mario grass and hills, deserts, ghostly mansions and pathways suspended above lava, and more unusual locales like mazes within palace courtyards, minecart rides and movable blocks in the sky, before coming upon Draggadon, the first boss. You must climb up a tower as lava ascends to reach a tall pillar that will fall on his head, knocking him unconscious and allowing you to reach the hills. Two waterside levels, a wild west town, some falling blocks in the sky, and a train ride later, you come upon Wingo. Climb his tower, avoid getting blown off by his attacks, and throw some giant turnips into his gullet and Toadette is saved.

At this point, you unlock the second phase of the game, in which the opening scenario plays out the same way, but Captain Toad is kidnapped instead. Once Toadette rescues Captain Toad, the third phase sees the player alternating between Captain Toad and Toadette. After this, the player unlocks 5 levels based on the kingdoms in Super Mario Odyssey, all of which are enjoyable on their own, but even more fun when you’ve played Super Mario Odyssey beforehand. They feature many details based on the game’s primary locations and incorporate all the wrinkles of the kingdoms in interesting ways.

The game is of shorter lengths than a game like Super Mario Odyssey and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but this is justified by its lower $40 price point. The levels are usually fun, and the less fun ones can be beaten quickly with the use of the rainbow mushroom, which grants the player invincibility against any enemies. It’s great fun all around, and well worth the price.

Photo Credit: The Gamesmen