Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
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Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a puzzle platform game for the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch. The Wii U version is a prequel to Super Mario 3D World, while the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch versions lead in to Super Mario Odyssey instead. The game is based on The Adventures of Captain Toad stages from Super Mario 3D World but features extensive depth and variety, and the game's plot revolves around Captain Toad and Toadette collecting Power Stars while attempting to stop a large, scavenging bird named Wingo from stealing them. This is the second game to have a Toad as the main protagonist, with the first game being Wario's Woods, released twenty years prior.
Captain Toad and Toadette are out treasure hunting, climbing a structure to get a Power Star. They soon after notice feathers falling from the sky when Wingo, a large bird who's described as "a lover of all things shiny", grabs the star. Toadette attempts to retrieve it while Captain Toad is temporarily knocked over. Wingo makes off with both the star and Toadette, leaving the Captain on his own. Captain Toad must then go through stages collecting Power Stars to reach Wingo and save Toadette.
Once Captain Toad reaches Wingo's fortress, they fight, and after Wingo is defeated, Toadette is rescued and they continue treasure hunting. However, Wingo returns to steal their treasure again and ends up capturing Captain Toad, allowing Toadette to journey on a solo adventure. After another long journey, Toadette saves him, although immediately afterward Wingo reappears, captures Toadette again and blows Captain Toad away.
The Captain awakes in a dark cave, where he finds another Power Star snatched away by Wingo. Toad pursues to a large mine. Meanwhile, Toadette escapes Wingo and goes off to reunite with Captain Toad, though is captured again soon after. Wingo then takes her to the same tower, while Captain Toad arrives. After a final fight, Wingo is truly defeated, and the two Toads ride off in a minecart as the credits play.
In the Wii U version, after the credits, Captain Toad notices a Green Star falling through the sky, and chases after it, leaving Toadette in the minecart. The opening scene of Super Mario 3D World plays, though after Mario and the others enter the Clear Pipe to chase Bowser, the Green Star falls in as well, with Captain Toad climbing into the Clear Pipe to chase after it.
Captain Toad controls similarly to The Adventures of Captain Toad, and is unable to jump. Instead, he can pull on Pluck Patches, patches of grass which can contain items such as coins, power-ups, or turnips, which can be thrown at enemies in a Super Mario Bros. 2 fashion. The camera can be rotated in any direction to view the stage at different angles.
The main goal of the game is to reach the one Power Star in each stage; the player must do so by navigating each stage and solving puzzles to reach them. Unlike The Adventures of Captain Toad, the levels have no time limit and score feature. Instead, the game keeps track of the highest number of coins earned in each level and the time taken to complete each level. Each stage also has 3 Super Gems (similar to the Green Stars of Super Mario 3D World) to collect, as well as a bonus objective that appears after beating the stage, in which the player must clear the stage while performing a certain task (collecting a certain mushroom, taking no damage, defeating certain enemies, etc.).
The Wii U version of the game received amiibo functionality in an update released in March 2015. Scanning the Toad amiibo takes the player into a game of Hide and Seek on the current stage, in which the player must find a hidden 8-bit Toad (called "Pixel Toad") by tapping it on the Wii U GamePad. The player can only play the hide and seek game on a given stage after clearing it. On the 3DS and Switch versions of the game, where Hide and Seek is available without the amiibo, the Toad amiibo will instead allow a level to be played while invincible.
Tapping any other amiibo in every version of the game gives the player 1-Up Mushrooms, though they can only give the player so many before they can no longer be used, and the player must wait to use them again.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker can only be played on the Wii U using the Wii U GamePad. On Nintendo Switch it could also be played without the touch screen in TV mode.
Wii U controls
Nintendo Switch controls
In the Nintendo Switch version of the game, two types of cooperative two player modes are available in every level. Both of these modes are only available in the Nintendo Switch's TV / Tabletop mode.
In Assist Mode, Player 1 assumes the normal role of Captain Toad or Toadette, except for the change that Player 2 now exclusively controls the pointer.
Player 2 also gains the ability to fire red turnips towards wherever the pointer is located. Red turnips can be used to obtain collectibles (except Super Gems and Power Stars), defeat enemies, or break small blocks. They cannot be used to activate switches, enter Clear Pipes, break Rock Blocks, or damage bosses. This mode also allows Player 2 to fire even during Mine Cart sections and to use the pointer when inside it, which is usually not possible.
This mode is only playable using two Joy-Con controllers. Joy-Con (L) is always assigned to Player 1, and Joy-Con (R) is assigned to Player 2. When switching the game to or from this mode, all controllers currently synced to the Switch will turn off. Attempting to sync another controller will fail. Syncing a controller in the Home Menu and then going back into the game will turn the newly synced controller off. Wired controllers will also appear desynced.
Adventure for Two
Adventure for Two was added in the 1.1.0 update on February 13, 2019. This mode allows both players to control a Toad Brigade Member, with Player 1 controlling the assigned character for the level, and in all episodes but Special Episode, Player 2 controlling a purple palette swap of Captain Toad. In Special Episode, Player 2 controls Toadette.
Any control method is available to both players in this mode, as well as a sideways Joy-Con. Notably, the button to rotate the camera in this mode was changed for the sideways Joy-con configuration, and a new button was added to activate the cursor. Additionally, both players can Bubble themselves to float above the other player's head, until they wish to pop out and continue playing.
When a player loses a life in this mode, they are sent into the Bubble. If a player is in a bubble or is in the process of losing a life as the other player does the same, the players must start the level over. If the players are too far apart from each other, one will automatically be warped to the other's location via bubble.
If either player is using a Spinwheel and the other approaches another Spinwheel, they cannot use it until the player actively using a Spinwheel steps off.
If either player enters a Clear Pipe cannon, or a Mine Cart, the other player will be warped there quickly. However, Doors, Pipes, Clear Pipes and others do not force the other player to warp.
Both players can collect Super Gems and Power Stars (or Power Moons/Golden Crowns) in this mode. The player who reached the Power Star first is the one visible during the Course Clear animation.
Draggadon and Gold Draggadon are also playable in several cut-scenes, but due to the player having limited control, they are not directly considered playable characters.
Enemies and obstacles
Items and objects
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker features 79 stages (referred to as "mini-universes"). The game is divided into various "episodes," with their own plots, as well as containing a number of different stages played as each character. Each stage also features a challenge that can be completed for an extra bonus.
An update for the Nintendo Switch version released on March 14, 2019, includes 18 new courses ranging from sunken ships to an area based on sweets.
Differences in the Switch/3DS versions
The idea of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker came to director Shinya Hiratake as a dream. It originally featured Link as the hero instead of Mario, as Mario not being able to jump would not make sense. Link would explore in a diorama-style in a tech demo presented to Shigeru Miyamoto. The idea was shot down, though Miyamoto realized a potential with the idea. It was included in Super Mario 3D World, where Hiratake chose Captain Toad from Super Mario Galaxy because the heavy backpack would have prevented him from jumping. After Super Mario 3D World was released, Miyamoto encouraged production of a full game around the concept.
Version 1.1.0 (Wii U)
The Wii U version of the game received an update on March 19, 2015, adding amiibo support to the game. An amiibo prompt was added to the menu screen by pressing , allowing players to scan the Toad amiibo to play Hide and Seek with Pixel Toad, while any other amiibo give the player 1-Up Mushrooms.
Version 1.1.0 (Nintendo Switch)
The Nintendo Switch version of the game received an update on February 13, 2019, which added 2 Player co-op into the game. The update also added the Special Episode (if players pre-purchased the Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - Special Episode content from the Nintendo eShop), allowing players to play the first level as a pre-purchase bonus.
This update also included changes to existing elements. Players can now toggle their character's headlamp by tapping the playable character with the pointer. Players may also toggle their partner's headlamp when playing in Adventure for Two mode. The second player in Assist Mode can toggle the first player's headlamp in this way.
A "Restart" button was added to the pause screen or every level. Restarting a level returns the player to their starting point or latest checkpoint, resets the timer and coin counter to 0, but retains all Super Gems they collected. Restarting does not cost lives. If the player restarts a level after a checkpoint, the timer will not be displayed and saved as their best time.
Additionally, this update made it no longer possible to run over Spinwheels in Handheld Mode, instead automatically snapping the player to them without touch screen input, same as in TV / Tabletop Mode.
Version 1.2.0 (Nintendo Switch)
The Nintendo Switch version of the game received an update on March 14, 2019, adding the remaining seventeen levels to the Special Episode for players that purchased the Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - Special Episode content from the Nintendo eShop.
Additionally, to better distinguish the 2 players, Toadette's headlamp now has a distinctively warmer tone than that of Captain Toad's when playing in Adventure for Two mode in the Special Episode.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker received generally positive reviews. Much of the praise was directed towards the limited focus on just Captain Toad and Toadette, as well as the game's concept, but minor criticism amounted to some technical issues and the designs of some levels. The Wii U version of the game currently holds a score of 81% on Metacritic based on 78 reviews, as well as a score of 81.01% on GameRankings based on 54 reviews.
Marty Silva of IGN gave the game an 8.2/10, criticizing what he believed to be an over-reliance of the GamePad at times, stating "The problem here is that it’s controlled both through the right stick and the GamePad’s gyrosensor, and the sensor can’t be turned off, so I found the camera spinning out of control whenever I moved my wrists. Also, if you're playing only off the GamePad, messages and touch-screen prompts have a tendency to pop up and really obscure your view at important moments." Otherwise, he was praising of the game, mostly to the charm, visuals, and sense of discovery. Arthur Gies of Polygon gave the game of 8.5/10, and was similarly critical of camera issues, claiming they "transcended my crankiness and felt like actual problems", but praised the characters' "outrageous cuteness", reamrking "Nintendo games explore their root mechanics thoroughly, finding fun through solid execution and exploration of the idea. Using that as a verb, Captain Toad Nintendos. It Nintendos hard." Chris Carter of Destructoid gave the game an 8/10, and was also similarly praising of the limited focus on Captain Toad and Toadette, stating "No other Mario characters are jumping out and stealing the spotlight here -- it's just the two aforementioned characters and their thirst for treasure that fuels the game." He was, however, critical of a few levels, and for what he opined as little to offer for players who did not like puzzle platformers.
References to other games
References in later games
Most of Super Mario 3D World's staff return, with Shinya Hiratake and Kenta Motokura leading game direction one again while Koichi Hayashida acts as producer for the first time. The main characters' voices are performed by Samantha Kelly, and general game production is done by Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto.
Pre-release and unused content
Several of the stages shown off during E3 2014 had different names than in the final game; for example, Mushroom Mesa was originally named "Mushy Monument: Mayday!". The box art was also changed during development. Several enemies such as Flaptors seen in the final game do not appear in the E3 demo.
Names in other languages