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It's a tried and tested story - one lovely day Captain Toad and Toadette are out searching for treasure when, as if from nowhere, a giant bird swoops down from the sky, snatching up not only a precious power star but Toadette, too! And so, with as little story set-up as that, our adventure begins.
While the story's tried and tested, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker's road to your Wii U is not, and neither are its inventive game mechanic. The way the game operates centres around a lead character who can't jump, so it was initially conceptualised as a game starring Link by director Shinya Hiratake. Nintendo passed, but the concept hung around and found its way into levels of Super Mario 3D World. Those levels were such a success that they made the leap into a full-blown, standalone game, with Captain Toad as the star!
While you can see Mario in the game's DNA, however, the lack of a jump ability presents its own set of challenges. The key is using the Wii U game pad to rotate the camera angle, spotting new routes, passageways and paths to victory.
With a nod to Super Mario Galaxy, each level functions as its own tiny universe, complete with a wealth of different elements and obstacles. Players might find themselves tackling anything from slippery slides to blizzard-bombarded steam trains to haunted houses to a pinball machine!
The Captain is up against a host of familiar and unfamiliar enemies such as Shy Guys, Pirhana Sprouts and Flaptors. With no ability to jump, that certainly makes life difficutlt for the little guy! He does have a few tools in his asrenal to help him out, though. He can throw turnips at his enemies to take them out, use his pick axe to break up the ground and, using a double cherry, create clones of himself to help out.
The upshot of all the above is a smart game that's part platformer and part puzzler that rewards players who can think in three dimensions!