Captain toad, the adventurous little explorer / treasure hunter first appeared back in Mario Galaxy and more recently had his own set of levels in Mario 3D Land and Mario 3D World. Now, he’ll be getting his own game, which should be good news for anyone who had fun playing the captain toad puzzle / platforming levels sprinkled throughout Mario’s last 2 major releases.
The demo we played was fresh from Nintendo’s E3 reveal and had 4 levels, each playing slightly differently from each other.
The 1st level is the most similar to captain toad levels on mario 3d world, with you controlling the good captain as he explores a small set of ruins looking for gems and coins. If you’re unfamiliar with how the captain toad levels played in Mario 3D world/Land, you basically play as one of the toads and you’re aiming to find 3 gems in each level, some of which are hidden by parts of the environment you need to look around with the camera, or behind short puzzles to make a path to the gem. Also, being one of the toads, captain toad isn’t blessed with Mario’s signature jumping ability, so you’ll be relying on ramps, ladders, lifts and other mechanisms to reach higher platforms in a level, which makes you put a bit more thought into how you get from point a to point b since you can’t just jump over there.
The 2nd level takes place on a mountain with a minecart track running down to the bottom. In this level, you play in a minecart going along this track and you have to you look around using the gamepad and shoot turnips to collect the gems and coins floating around. While this js going on, the overall view of the level will be on the main screen, giving you an idea of what you’ll encounter and what to look out for during the minecart ride. Since it’s a one way ride to the end of the rails, you’ll need to try your best to collect gems and coins as there’s no backtracking once the stage has begun.
Level 3 begins with CT exploring a cavern and encountering a huge has you avoiding a dragon like boss while scaling a level in a cavern, all while trying to find gems and coins hidden around the stage. As if that wasn’t enough, the cavern is also gradually filling with lava , so you can’t take too much time looking for treasure or you may get burnt.
The final stage in the demo has you navigating a ghostly mansion with several rooms you need to slide into position with the touchscreen to make paths for toad to find the gems and the exit. By moving these rooms around, you change where the exits for linked doors will lead to. Being a haunted mansion, there’s a few boos roaming around, so you’d need to be careful not to get caught off guard. If you’re the type to get excited at the thought of sliding block puzzles,
When Captain toad was first announced at E3, I was expecting it to be a bunch of new levels which would play just like the 3D world ones. As a fan of those original levels, I would have been happy if this game followed that same structure throughout, but if this demo was anything to go by, it looks like there’ll be some variety in the types of levels with some leaning into the puzzle solving aspect and others featuring more navigation and platforming elements.
Captain Toad will be coming out later this year for Wii U.