Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (JP) is a puzzle game for the Wii U released in 2014. The game expands on the concepts from the Captain Toad levels from Super Mario 3D World (the sequel to Super Mario 3D Land) and adds more Wii U GamePad functionality. 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 third game to have a Toad as the main protagonist, with the first games being Wario's Woods, released twenty years prior, and Kinopio Live, released presumably nineteen 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.
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. In the Switch/3DS version, after the credits, Captain Toad and Toadette stopped at what appeared to be Sand Kingdom when the former spotted a landing Odyssey ship flying down and goes chases after it.
The gameplay is very similar to the Captain Toad levels in Super Mario 3D World. However, there are a few additions. The main goal now is to get a Power Star at the end of a level but there are 3 gems in a more roundabout path.
There is also an additional challenge for each level. The player can also play as Toadette for certain levels. The touch blocks mechanic has been expanded into more puzzles as well as a rotating switch.
- Shy Guy
- Piranha Sprout
- Piranha Creepers
- Piranha Plant
- Mud Trooper
- Bullet Bill
- Chargin' Chuck
- Hammer Bro.
- Fire Bro
The game only has a couple bosses with them getting reused in later levels.
- Gold Draggadon
This game supports the Toad amiibo from the Super Mario series. Putting him on the NFC scanner will allow the player to play Hide and Seek with Pixel Toad in any level.
Other amiibo scanned in will give extra lives. The Super Mario Odyssey amiibo will unlock the Bonus Episode early.
After beating an episode with all additional objectives completed and all Super Gems collected, the player unlocks Challenge Times for every level. Completing them per Episode unlocks the coin level for unlimited use.
There are over 70 courses in the game. Courses include:
- Plucky Pass Beginnings
- Walleye Tumble Temple
- Touchstone Trouble
- Mushroom Mesa
- Double Cherry Palace
- Shy Guy Heights
- Spinwheel Library
- Mine Cart Tunnel Throwdown
- Spinwheel Bullet Bill Base
- King of Pyropuff Peak
- Piranha Creeper Cove
- Briny Bowl Swimming Hole
- Turnip Canyon Jungle
- Pop-Up Prairie Town
- Drop-Road Dash
- Bizarre Doors of Boo Mansion
- Blizzard on the Star Express
- Chute Scoot Slopes
- Stumper Sneakaround
- Mine Cart Sunset Rundown
- Sinister Street Signs
- Floaty Fun Water Park
- Drift-Along Canyon
- Sliding Slab Shuffle
- Spooky Spectors at Shadow Manor
- Draggadon's Revenge
- Spinwheel Cog Ruins
- Windup Stairs
- Up 'n' Down Terrace
- Clear Pipe Puzzleplex
- Midnight in Wandering Woods
- Double Cherry Spires
- Bullet Bill's Touchy Trials
- Spinwheel Sky Fort
- Battle Tower Blitz
- Rolling Inferno
- Seesaw Sizzle
- Beep Block Sky Plaza
- Pickax Cave Plummet
- Stumpy Springs Sanctuary
- Biddybud Snow Stroll
- Cagey Conkdor Caper
- Up 'n' Down Desert
- Mine Cart Ruins Rumble
- Multi-Vator Mayhem
- Flip Panel Footpath
- Rock Block Badlands
- Secret of the Golden Realm
- Shy Guy Shadow Den
- Razzle-Dazzle Sliders
- Poison Canal Cannon Run
- Fright Train Flight
- No Sleep at Magikoopa Keep
- Retro Ramp-Up
- Twisty-Turny Planet
- Ghost Gallery Gambit
- Touchstone Turmoil
- Color Crate Carousel
- Trick-Track Hall
- Deep-Space Gyromajig
- Magma Road Marathon
- Scalding Scaffold Sinkhole
- Wingo's Whackdown
The Bonus Episode unlocks upon completing the 3 main episodes though it can be unlocked early either with a Super Mario 3D World save in the Wii U version or using a Super Mario Odyssey amiibo in the Switch and 3DS versions. The first 4 levels vary based on which version played
The Wii U versions levels are modified from 3D World and contain only one Green Star.
- Super Bell Hill
- Conkdor Canyon
- Shadow-Play Alley
- Clear Pipe Cruise
The Switch and 3DS version are full levels based on Super Mario Odyssey kingdoms with 3 Super Gems each.
- Secret of the Inverted Pyramid (based on the Sand Kingdom)
- Mine Cart Cascade Crusade (based on the Cascade Kingdom)
- Uptown, Downtown (based on the Metro Kingdom)
- Cookatiel's Sizzling Sprint (based on the Luncheon Kingdom)
From then on, the games have the same levels though they have special requirements and are mostly variations on earlier levels.
- Toad Brigade to Mushroom Mesa! (160 Super Gems)
- Toad Brigade to Trick-Track Hall! (170 Super Gems)
- Toad Brigade to Bullet Bill Base!
- Toad Brigade to Magikoopa Keep!
- Mummy-Me on Flip Panel Footpath
- Mummy-Me on Drop-Road Dash
- Mummy-Me at Pyropuff Peak
- Episode 1 Prologue (100% Episode 1)
- Episode 2 Prologue (100% Episode 2)
- Episode 3 Prologue (100% Episode 3)
- Mummy-Me Maze Forever (Collect all the Super Gems and complete every additional objective)
- Coins Galore (Complete Challenge Times)
- More Coins Galore
- Even More Coins Galore
Version features and changes
- The Pixel Toad hide-and-seek challenge is now available in-game, unlocked once after completing a level, unlike the original where the player is required to scan a Toad amiibo.
- The Super Mario Odyssey-themed courses replace those of the Super Mario 3D World courses from the original.
- When riding Mine Carts and using Turnip Cannons, the screen is now always a first-person view. The aiming is now determined by the control stick.
- There are new credits, which consist of staff members involved in the development of the port versions, and it's a bit shorter.
- There are different fireworks shapes used compared to each version which the average eye won't notice.
- When docked, there's always an on-screen circular cursor which can be controlled by the motion of the right Joy-Con to replace the Wii U GamePad touchscreen controls. This is a reference to the Wii Remote pointer function.
- When undocked, the cursor is not present and touchscreen controls is activated.
- Some levels now use motion controls to turn lever wheels. In that aspect, a lever wheel appears on the screen and interacts with the player.
- The maximum image quality has been improved to 1080p (docked). In addition, the overall color value have also seen improvement.
- The Switch version has local multiplayer up to 2 players. The second player can team up by shooting turnips to assist the player. In a later update, the player can now play as an additional Toad, called Purple Captain Toad.
- Due to the lack of the "microphone" feature from the Wii U GamePad, Lifts replace the Propeller Platforms, the latter of which required the player to blow into the GamePad for them to interact. However, this is still present in the 3DS version which has the microphone feature as well.
- HD Rumble is implemented.
- If played on the Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS family of systems, stereoscopic 3D is a new feature that can be activated.
- The game runs at 30 fps unlike other versions, most likely due to the system's portable limitations.
- The gameplay is shown on both screens.
- The top screen shows only the gameplay with the 3D effects, while the bottom screen has the HUD, instructions, and touchscreen controls.
- The Super Gems HUD is placed in the center as opposed to always accompanying the left whole-stacked HUD.
- The top screen shows only the gameplay with the 3D effects, while the bottom screen has the HUD, instructions, and touchscreen controls.
- When control instructions are given on the bottom screen, the background color is white and the text is gray, inverted from the Switch and original Wii U versions.
- Oddly, Captain Toad's eyes in this version appear larger than his usual appearances.
- Much like the original, the controls are usually focused on the touchscreen.
- Some checkbox objectives (e.g. the Poison Canal Cannon Run course uses "Found the hidden Gold Mushroom!" instead of "Cleared course with 4 Toadettes!") have been changed due to hardware limitations.
- In the ending cutscene, there seems to be less fireworks than the other 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.
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 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.
- First Mario spin-off game to star any Toad character, notably Captain Toad who first appeared in Super Mario Galaxy.
- It is also the first spin-off game from a 3D game.
- After defeating Wingo in Book Three, the game has an altered ending in the Switch and 3DS versions. In the Wii U version, Captain Toad and Toadette land in the Mushroom Kingdom's plains with Captain Toad chasing a Green Star down the pipe from the opening of Super Mario 3D World. In the Switch and 3DS version, Captain Toad and Toadette arrive in the Sand Kingdom and Toad chases after a landing Odyssey. This means Captain Toad can be considered a prequel to both games.
- Interestingly, while the 3D World-based courses are nearly the same as the original, the Odyssey-based courses have different structures and closely resemble to the diorama-style levels.
- The 2-player feature which one player controls Captain Toad while the other uses the cursor to assist the player by shooting turnips is similar to the Super Mario Galaxy games where the first player controls Mario as the second player uses the Wii pointer to shoot Star Bits.
- In the Switch and 3DS versions, the "Cookatiel's Sizzling Sprint" level (inspired by the Luncheon Kingdom) is the only Odyssey-based level to be a boss level, and to use a boss theme.
- The port version was actually intended to be re-released just on the Nintendo 3DS due to its potential on the stereoscopic 3D features. The Switch version was later greenlit for the sake of co-op multiplayer.
- The Switch version has the most-successful sales with 1.18 million copies sold. It is the only version to officially sell over 1 million copies, and the second Switch version of a game to do so after Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
- To promote the launch of the Switch and 3DS release, Super Mario Odyssey replaced the 8-Bit Luigi sprites with 8-Bit Captain Toad sprites in the "Hint Art" challenge. Both sprites also appeared in the "Jump Up, Super Star" during the game's "1-Year Anniversary" event.
- ↑ Nintendo software and hardware sales data from 1983 to present (Resetera) Date: October 30, 2017.
- ↑ Nintendo Earnings March 2019
- ↑ Media Crate Sales 8/20/18 - 8/26/18
- ↑ GoNintendo: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker originally starred Link, idea was initially shot down. Retrieved at December 12, 2014
- ↑ Metacritic score for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. Metacritic. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
- ↑ GameRankings score for Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. GameRankings. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
- ↑ Silva, Marty. Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. (December 1, 2014). IGN. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
- ↑ Gies, Arthur. Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. (December 1, 2014). Polygon. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
- ↑ Carter, Chris. Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. (December 1, 2014). Destructoid. Retrieved May 21, 2018.