An announcement at E3 this year that caught fans by surprise was that Captain Toad would be receiving his own game based on the Super Mario 3D World mini-games. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker features Toad as he solves puzzles in a boxed-in 3D environment. The puzzles themselves are interesting enough and they include a variety of different elements, but unfortunately, I simply cannot see it as a full retail title.
The gameplay itself works well — Captain Toad seems pretty helpless physically in the middle of each situation, but players are able to outsmart the environment, regardless of Toad’s inability to run quickly or jump high. Aside from the standard puzzle levels, Treasure Tracker has a couple variations. Boss battles are just variations of regular levels, although they take place on a grandiose scale. Players will have to solve puzzle-like scenarios in order to defeat the boss; for example, the boss battle I played through saw the boss blowing deadly smoke in Toad’s way. The role of the player was to navigate him behind the walls to avoid the smoke, which is just an extension of the usual puzzle gameplay, but a nice diversion from the norm.
The mine cart levels have players using the GamePad as a first-person shooting mechanic akin to the Zelda levels in Nintendo Land, where they aim with the GamePad while the mine cart travels along the rails. These levels share common themes and are relatively short and slow-paced. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but gamers should not expect fast-paced, Mario-like gameplay. That is simply not what they will be receiving. Additionally, most of the levels have hidden secrets and collectables for players to find.
Overall, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a nice little diversion and a nice addition to the Wii U library, but no one should expect anything amazing to come out of this smaller Wii U title.