Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
Toki Tori 2 is the sequel to a Game Boy Color game released over 10 years ago. Given the Nintendo heritage, it fitting that the sequel is making its way to the Wii U and Nintendo's eShop service first (though it'll also be appearing on Steam for both PC and Mac). Still, I can't say I was all that interested in Toki Tori 2 until I sat down and got a chance to piece it together for myself.
Players take on the roll of Toki Tori himself, a flightless bird with some incredible powers of persuasion. You've got two abilities, but the way you use them to interact with other characters and environmental puzzles can twist your brain into knots.
The first puzzle involved the whistle ability. A crab with a box-shaped shell sat on a ledge and all Toki Tori had to do was whistle. This would cause the crab to walk over the edge and into the conveniently shaped space below to create a staircase Toki Tori could walk up.
The next section of this early level required Toki Tori to use the stomp ability to push a frog out of grass and into the open where a bird could pick it up and whisk it away. Toki Tori soon followed and found the frog full after digesting a small purple bug. Another stomp got the frog to burp and provide Toki Tori with a bubble that would carry him to a higher ledge and one of the game's many collectible puzzle pieces.
Naturally, these elements combine to form exceedingly difficult puzzles down the line, but baby steps allowed us to see how the player and Toki Tori progress in their solving abilities.
Much like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Toki Tori will learn songs throughout his journey that will give him special powers or allow him to reset a puzzle gone awry. Obsessive collectors will be handsomely rewarded at the end of the game while those of you more interested in rescuing Toki Tori's fellow fowl will find the path a little easier.
Still, despite a total inability to do so in-game, Toki Tori 2 managed to fly from from the depths of Nintendo's eShop bench into my "must-watch" list of upcoming games. It certainly didn't hurt that the entire game can be played on the Wii U GamePad while someone else is watching TV, either. Two Tribes' unassuming puzzler will hit the eShop in early 2013.
For more on each week's new downloadable games, check out The Download.