Captain Toad’s latest voyage has brought him to the Nintendo Switch, in the form of a marginally improved version of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, only now with a few control tweaks and some new content inspired by Super Mario Odyssey. But is it enough to warrant double dipping? Well, we’ll get to that. In case you missed it the first time around, Treasure Tracker is a puzzle action game that’s small in scope, but big on charm, as Captain Toad has to work his work through a multitude of bite-sized worlds in an effort to rescue his partner in crime, Toadette–all the while collecting treasure, of course. But it’s that penchant for treasure hunting that’s also his achilles heel, because the weight of dragging all that treasure around prevents him from jumping, meaning he’ll have to use his brain instead of his brawn to navigate the puzzling 3D environments.
And it’s that exact setup that sets Captain Toad apart, because each level is essentially an elaborate puzzle box, featuring intricate, multi-level designs, full of criss-crossing paths, interactive objects, and easily obscured secrets. In Captain Toad, finding the goal is the easy part–it’s figuring out how to reach it where things get real. And like a puzzle box, it’ll take careful examination from every angle to figure out the solution–Captain Toad is really as much about controlling the camera as it is the titular hero! And even though few of the puzzles will leave you scratching your head for too long–they’re just challenging enough to keep you mentally engaged almost the entire time.
Especially when it comes to tracking down the 3 gems hidden in each level–which you’ll need to unlock later levels–and let me tell you, some of them can be pretty devious to get to–even when you can see exactly where it is! It’s genuinely impressive how much variety there is given the similar size and shapes of many of the levels! Whether it’s using teeter-totters as catapults, rerouting invisible paths, or rotating entire sections of the level to form entirely new routes, almost every level offers something new. And that’s not even to mention the occasional mine cart level or boss fight. So when Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker first came out back in 2014 on the Wii U, I found it to be a fun, clever charming adventure–I mean, just look at these two.
Adorable. And all of that still holds true today on Nintendo Switch–in fact, I even enjoyed it slightly more during my second runthrough thanks to some smart tweaks that addresses most of my complaints with the original game. Such as the improved camera that now offers a third zoom option between the original’s “sometimes too far” and “way too close” settings–and it’s just right, fixing one of my biggest issues with the original game. Another annoyance in the Wii U version was how camera movement was tied to the GamePad’s motion sensors, meaning any movement of the controller–no matter how subtle–would afefct the camera angle. On Switch, that’s thankfully gone entirely, with camera controls now being handled exclusively via the right stick, regardless of whether you’re playing on the TV or in handheld mode.
And since the GamePad is out of the picture, so is the need to awkwardly shift your eyes between two different displays in order to use the touchscreen elements when playing on the TV. Instead, the Right Joy-Con picks up the slack, now functioning as a Wii Remote-style pointer. It’s not quite as intuitive at first, but it makes up for it with much greater flexibility, allowing you to easily control Captain Toad, the camera, and interactive touchscreen objects all simultaneously–something that was pretty much impossible to do on the Wii U unless you had three hands–so I greatly prefer the single-screen pointer setup on Nintendo Switch, even if you will have to occasionally recalibrate it due to drift. There is a slight drawback in that the cursor is always on-screen–even when you don’t need it–but I adjusted pretty quickly after just a few levels.
Another slight annoyance involves the interactive spinwheels, where a giant icon covers the screen anytime you get close–even when you don’t intend to use it. This didn’t happen in the original version since it only appeared on the Gamepad, leaving the TV clutter free. Oh, and for whatever reason, the Switch version now automatically locks Toad onto the Spinwheel if you’re running while passing it when playing on the TV–which is super annoying if you’re just trying to avoid, say, some Bullet Bills. This didn’t happen on the Wii U, nor does it in handheld mode. Weird. That aside, I did quite the new motion controls where I could spin the wheel by moving the right joy-con around in the air–complete with satisfying clicks thanks to the HD Rumble–although you can also use the control stick too if you prefer. Now if handheld mode is more your style, then the game otherwise handles identically to how it did when playing on the Wii U’s Gamepad in Off TV mode, new camera controls aside. But regardless of how you play, rest assured that Captain Toad works great in both forms–even if I personally it in docked mode for the pointer controls, as well as the resolution bump up to 1080p from the original’s 720p.
It makes the simple, but pleasant visuals pop even more. And that’s about it for changes–so what about new content. Well, there really isn’t much to speak of. The Pixel Toad hunt mode that used to be unlocked via the Captain Toad amiibo on Wii U is now available right out of the box without needing any amiibo at all which is nice, and offers some additional replayability. There’s also a new so-called 2 Player mode, where one person controls Captain Toad and the other takes on pointer detail–including the ability to throw turnips at enemies. It’s probably a great assist tool for a parent helping out their kid, otherwise it’ll probably make the game a little too easy for most players. And finally, there are the new stages based on Super Mario Odyssey–and I have some bad news and good news.
The bad news is, there are only 4 of them, and they replace the Super Mario 3D World stages from the Wii U version, assuming you had a 3D World save file. The good news is, unlike the 3D World stages, these were custom created for Captain Toad and might just be some of the best stages in the game–or at least the two that are puzzle focused are, which kept surprising me with how clever they incorporated the Mario Odyssey theme, while giving them the ol’ Captain Toad Twist. But for as fun as they are, they only took me 15 minutes to finish, and just over 30 to 100% them. Which brings us back to the question I asked at the very start: Is it worth picking up Captain Toad again on Nintendo Switch if you already own the Wii U version? And I have to say, probably not. Even though ironed out some of the kinks from the original version, it’s still by and large the exact same experience–besides the new Mario Odyssey stages, but there’s just not enough of them to warrant double dipping at full price, unless you really want to play Captain Toad on the go.
But, if you haven’t played Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker before, then this is the version to get! It’s a charming little adventure that packs a surprising amount of content with a level of polish a step or two above the Wii U version and I liked-it-a-lot. And with that, thanks for watching and make sure to stay subscribe to GameXplain for more Nintendo Switch reviews and everything else Nintendo too. .
As found on Youtube