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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Switch Review

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Nintendo has been doing well to release their Wii U games again on the Nintendo Switch console. Many of the people missed out on them due to the unpopular reputation of the Wii U and the fact that no one owned one. I did not get a chance to play Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker back in the day mainly due to the fact that I flogged my Wii U console off to help buy my PS4.  I am glad I missed it as the game makes for another wonderful experience on the Nintendo Switch, something I could not put down. 

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Captian Toad: Treasure Tracker takes the mini-games that were included in Super Mario 3D World and put them into their own game. You take on the role of Toad and Toadette as you explore levels from an outsider's perspective. This means instead of the camera up close to you, the camera is positioned at a distance and you use the stage to rotate your view. Levels range from longer more drawn-out experiences to smaller square stages where you simply need to get to the top of an area to collect the star. Regardless of what there is to do besides collect the star, the level ends when you grab it. 

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The story plays out like any other Nintendo game. Toadette gets taken away by something and Toad needs to hunt it down to save her. Then Toad gets taken away and Toadette needs to save him. The synopsis for the game is about two lines but it works as it lets you focus less on what is going on and more on what you are doing. 

The game is divided into several books known as "Chapters". Each page is a new stage and as you progress through the game, more pages will appear for you to warp into. To say that the game covers the most iconic areas from the Mario series would be an understatement as it truly does. The game manages to take the best inspiration from the Mario games' fantastic level design and implement it into the game. 

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Toad and Toadette cannot do much other than carrying a turnip over their heads to throw at enemies, duplicate themselves into double characters for specific puzzles or hammer away with a pickaxe you find throughout the game. They are pretty defenceless but you make do with what they can do. Each level takes you from one starting point and you need to get the golden star at the end. There are hidden areas, three diamonds per level to collect, and other various secrets to find as you make your way through each stage. 

You need to look for these though as they often require you to smash down a wall, press a button or head into that dark corner where you thought there would be nothing to find. Regardless of where they are hidden, the camera plays the biggest role in the game as it is vital to collecting everything and surviving the dangers of the stage. 

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While you control Toad and Toadette, the camera is fully controllable too but this is where the game's mechanics work the best. You can rotate the camera around a building to see what is behind it, peer into a secret area or simply use the camera to get a better perspective to where the giant fire dragon is going to jump down so you miss it. It is all about perspective and the game relies heavily on you using the camera system to determine where things are and in what position you are so you get out safely. It works and it makes for a fantastic experience which will keep you rotating the camera at all times in fear of missing out on something tucked away somewhere. 

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Where the game truly shines is in its level design. Every single one offered something unique that had me grinning from ear to ear. Be it a level that saw me fly through glass pipes to avoid death, a fight with a golden dragon, racing down a mine shooting turnips at boxes or just the average puzzle stage where I had to press the right buttons to open up paths to the end of the stage. 

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Every level felt like a new challenge without it ever feeling as if I had done that before. Some stages are tough as nails but others are a breeze. Often those that I thought were the easiest ended up being the ones where I missed half the collectables too. It just goes to show how much attention to detail has been put into making sure every stage was unique. 

Every stage feels as if you are peering into a fraction of an even bigger world which has been chopped off and placed on a plate for you to digest. You then finish it and move onto something even more vibrant or challenging. It is all a joy to see and play. 

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With over three dozen levels to play through, each being as expertly crafted as the last, various side challenges to complete per stage and a wide range of mini-games to complete every now and then, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker kept throwing new things at me to do and see without it ever feeling boring and repetitive. 

It also helps that the game makes for a great pick-up-and-play title and the Switch's hardware makes it a fantastic experience. Play a few stages here and there, continue them later on and if you get frustrated then take a break and try again later. It is yet another match made in heaven for the console. 

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This review was conducted based on a review code sent to us by Nintendo.

Available On: Switch, 3DS | Reviewed On: Switch | Release Date: 13 July 2018 | RRP: R509

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