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E3 – Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Hands-On Preview

Super Mario 3D World was a masterpiece in my eyes, filled to the brim with new ideas around every corner and it was just a pure joy to play. While I had a ton of fun demolishing everything the game had to offer with a best friend, there was always one single-player minigame section that was very different, but just as interesting. Captain Toad’s levels were few, but some of the best parts of Super Mario 3D World, and it’s spectacular news to see that the concept will be expanded into a full game with Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.

In my time with the game, I could tell right away that there was a lot of care going into designing these levels, especially when they must be expanded from a series of a few minigames to a full-length title. Captain Toad is pretty much the direct opposite of Mario’s adventures as he cannot jump because, well, his backpack is too heavy.


Dammit, Toad, you are broad daylight, you are wasting the battery on your headlamp.

Dammit, Toad, you are broad daylight, you are wasting the battery on your headlamp.

Without the ability to jump, it’s up to proper timing and careful puzzle skills to traverse the cubic terrain of each level. Finding each of the three diamonds before reaching your destination takes a careful sort of care to avoid falling into any traps or just the wrong way and having to start over. Like your standard Nintendo title, Captain Toad‘s simplicity shines in its practicality and how it accentuates a cautious sort of gameplay reliant on the player’s skill and just thinking it over. It’s very easy to get into and terribly addicting. The left stick moves our titular hero and the right stick moves the level (or you can use the gyroscopic capabilities of the GamePad), and the game is all the more satisfying for its tight and simple controls.

Making clever use of the touch screen several times to navigate moving doors through one of the haunted levels, Captain Toad makes practical and delightful use of the GamePad for a very new experience that really leaves you wanting more. On top of it all, it’s presented in the gorgeous and smooth visuals using the same engine as SM3DW, leaving Toad’s new adventure nothing short of gorgeous. My only gripe is that I can’t spend the rest of E3 on the showfloor playing the game.

Present and future Wii U owners have something great to look forward to when Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker comes to the system this upcoming holiday season.

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