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"Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker" (Nintendo)

Parents need to know that “Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker” is a puzzle adventure game for the Nintendo WiiU and Switch. It features simple controls and a very easy learning curve for players of all ages. There’s no inappropriate content, although it has some light violence, such as throwing turnips at creatures, who disappear in a puff of smoke when hit. Some levels are based on older Mario titles and could possibly raise interest in purchasing these games.


In “Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker,” you must navigate enemy-filled worlds to collect items (coins and other gems, gold stars and power-ups), take on enemies who stand in your way, and figure out a way to solve each maze-like level. The story follows Captain Toad and Toadette, who are out treasure hunting. When they climb to get a Power Star, it’s nabbed by a giant Wingo bird, who also grabs Toadette. Your job is to find Toadette and retrieve the Power Star. Players can swing the camera around 360 degrees, which can offer a closer view of upcoming dangers and hidden items. The game fuses platforming elements, light combat (from third- and first-person views), collectibles, and lots of puzzle solving. The Nintendo Switch version includes four new Super Mario Odyssey themed levels, as well as a sharable experience with the Joycons where one player controls Toad while the other handles the camera and tosses turnips at obstacles.


This clever puzzle game will keep you playing for hours, and it’s great to see a new character step out of Mario’s considerable shadow with a fun adventure of their own. Even though “Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker” is based around the outdated “damsel in distress” premise, you’re really buying this for the brainteasing puzzles. As you work to retrieve the Power Star and rescue Toadette, gamers will encounter many worlds to navigate to collect precious items, combat enemies and bosses, and figure out how to bypass environmental obstacles. You have limited mobility — you can’t run or even jump — but by studying the task at hand along with some trial and error, you’ll figure out what’s necessary.

The Nintendo Switch version of the game vastly improves gameplay as well. It removes the need to blow through the microphone to move platforms or rely on a touchscreen in the Wii U version, instead giving tighter, more responsive controls thanks to the console’s Joycons. Families can help each other through this new control scheme, with one person controlling Toad and the other handling the camera — this is perfect if a younger player gets stuck and needs help from an older sibling or parent. It’s also nice to see four levels based off the wildly popular Super Mario Odyssey game get a puzzle makeover. Although younger gamers might get frustrated trying to figure out all of the game’s puzzles, “Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker” is a charming puzzle-platformer hybrid for the whole family to enjoy.


Recommended for ages 6 and older

Quality: 5 out of 5

Positive messages: 1 out of 5

Positive role models: 0 out of 5

Ease of play: 5 out of 5

Violence: 1 out of 5

Language: 0 out of 5

Consumerism: 1 out of 5


Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U

Price: $39.99

Developer: Nintendo of America

Release date: July 13, 2018

Genre: Arcade

ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence

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