Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Wii U) review: Toad's time to shine

The Good Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker offers a healthy amount of puzzle based platforming with a unique control scheme baked in. The game features tons of Nintendo references and music that serve as a great throwback.

The Bad The GamePad's motion control scheme is frustrating and can't be turned off and the standard level camera is too far away (thankfully you can zoom in). The game is also shorter than most Nintendo offerings.

The Bottom Line It's not the meatiest offering that Nintendo games usually offer, but Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is totally accessible and undeniably fun to play. The games ends a little sooner than we expected and a few control scheme decisions have us wishing for more customization.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Nintendo's last big game before the holidays, feels like an advent calendar of a game. Broken up into dozens of short levels, it's an expansion of the Captain Toad 3D puzzle games studded throughout last year's fantastic Super Mario 3D World .

Its price of $40 is a direct recognition of this because as a whole package, Treasure Tracker is a tad light on features. Completing the standard game will take most players no more than six to seven hours, but completionists may find more play time in collecting each stage's gems or bonus challenge.

Read GameSpot's coverage of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Imagine a Super Mario that can't jump, and you have Captain Toad. The familiar mascot is cute, small, slow, and super-charming, with his high-pitched voice shrieking out adorable nonsense all along the way. Each transparent diorama level can be rotated with the right stick or by tilting the GamePad and turning each puzzle in different directions reveals hidden treasures that Toad can pick up along his way to finding the star goal that takes you to the next challenge. We really wish the GamePad's motion control could be turned off though -- it's really frustrating to use and even worse when you accidentally bump the pad.


In fact, using the GamePad to play Treasure Tracker is probably our least-favorite part of the whole experience. Being forced to touch areas on the screen to move objects is cumbersome and the first-person aiming levels that turn the GamePad into Toad's viewpoint would be much better enjoyed with just a standard game pad. These features feel tacked on and ultimately unnecessary. Most other Wii U games give players a choice with how they'd like to control a given game, Treasure Tracker does not.