Games of The Year: Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

Games of The Year: Captain Toad Treasure Tracker

With 2015 coming to a close, it feels like a good time to reflect. It’s been a mixed year of sleeper hits and bitter disappointments. Micro-transactions became a hot topic, as did the continued growth of season passes. We’ve seen big name franchise depart from their creators and promising games cancelled. When all is said and done, looking back at the good games is what this is all about.

( Captain Toad Treasure Tracker was released in Europe on 02/01/2015)

Games of 2015 featured so far*

Splatoon

Rocket League

Until Dawn

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

 

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker:

Spin-off titles have been something Nintendo do not shy away from. Their regular experiments into different genres and markets are often fronted by one of their core characters. 2015 saw a slight change in this formula, even if the character was from a major franchise.

Captain Toad – Treasure Tracker is the sweetest little title released in 2015. Building upon the sections found within Super Mario 3D World, Treasure Tracker is sheer Nintendo. Cutesy, and vibrant, with some wonderful music, it’s all typical Nintendo. Treasure Tracker’s key success extends far beyond it’s looks and sounds, the game’s core design is utterly fantastic.

It’s not trying to do anything fancy, simplicity is the heartbeat of Treasure Tracker’s success. Go from point A to B, it’s literally that basic. The magic is the method, even if the method is nothing all that new. Switching camera angles oddly forms part of the gameplay, presenting new paths hazards. Basic puzzle solving, mixed with little sprinkles of Mario-like mechanics, add neat little touches.

The Wii U pad is wonderfully used throughout the whole of Treasure Tracker. Manipulating the game world in order to progress sounds gimmicky, but it never feels it. Nintendo managed to marry all of their classic elements into neatly formed package. Each stage feels like it’s the product of true craftsmanship and care. Loading up each level comes with it’s own sense of giddiness. They never felt forced, nor do they feature any design features that feel wasted. It’s Nintendo level design at it’s best.

Treasure Tracker isn’t the smartest game around, or the most ground breaking. It’s sheer video game fun in it’s most innocent form. Modern video games are often jam packed with intense moments that aim to thrill, Treasure Tracker is a relief. Sitting back and just enjoying the game is oddly therapeutic. Perhaps this is why, even after nearly a full year, Captain Toad still remains fresh in my head. It’s simplicity and gentle nature still calls me back in from time to time, even if it’s just to relax.

Released very early in 2015 (in Europe) Captain Toad – Treasure Tracker is one of the year’s most enjoyable games. Nintendo at it’s playful best, a must play for all Wii U users, young and old.

Sean Halliday


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