It’s Full of Treasure but Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker is No Bang For Your Buck.
The sad part about this is Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker is exactly what I was expecting it to be. It’s not bad but it’s not exactly good either. How it took almost two months for Australia to get this game after everyone else, I’m not sure.
The game kicks off almost immediately, which is a nice change of pace (In contrast to Far Cry 4 making me wait through what seems like days of logos and menus to start playing). Maybe, though, a nice opening credits would’ve added nearly an extra 40% of content. But, alas, a giant chicken thing steals our woman in true Nintendo fashion and we have to go … hunt for treasure.
Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker
Platforms: Wii U
Price: $49.99 (Amazon US)
Nintendo’s Mobile Game
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now: Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker feels like a game that could have been developed so easily for a smartphone. It seems that Nintendo is testing the waters with the Wii U title because it’s as easily played on the game pad as it is on the big screen.
Admittedly, I found the gyroscope control on the Wii U game pad a little frustrating. Being accustomed to the joystick, I’d use that. I found, however, that I would move in my seat and cause the camera to shift out of position. I would appreciate a way to disable this, similar to Mario Kart 8 when using the game pad.
Speaking of controls, being given its own game has allowed Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker to expand its repertoire. As part of Super Mario 3D World, there wasn’t much scope for adding complexity and depth to the levels. Now as a fully-fleshed title, we’re seeing much more potential within the levels themselves.
The Hunt is a Short Story
The levels aren’t huge. Each one takes no more than five minutes. Give or take depending on the size of the level. Spinwheel Library is particularly short and can be completed in no time at all. In fact, in just under an hour, breezed through about half the game. Personally I’m feeling a bit hard done by after paying $50 for it.
Each level has a star, three diamonds, and one objective. The objective is only revealed after you complete the level and collect the star. Usually it involves going out of your way to collect a golden mushroom or some added layer of difficulty like not being spotted by any ShyGuys. It falls into the same trap as Grand Theft Auto V: wanting you to finish a level and then punishing you for not doing something it never asked you to do.
Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker is a nice little distraction. Like a free game you get from the App/Google Play Store, it’ll keep you busy for a while but loses its charm before long. The self-determined little strut our eponymous captain is adorable. The cute little touches that Nintendo have put into the game are nice but in the end they’re not enough to make up for lack of content.
I will say there is some merit to shaking down other Toads for crystals. I liked to pretend I was some sort of fungi drug lord trying to get the money I was owed.
Ultimately, Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker is a strong experiment into something Nintendo may want to explore in the future – especially if there’s truth to the rumours about their interest in the mobile arena. This won’t be our little captain’s last hurrah.