Indiana Toad and the Puzzling Palace.
Anyone who knows me knows I love Super Mario 3D World to no end. I love darn near everything about it. From the level design to the new power-ups to the classic SMB2-esque dynamic of characters, it all registers a big thumbs-up from this guy.
Up near the top of this list were the Captain Toad mini-levels, the spatial puzzle levels which utilized the Wii U Gamepad to rotate the camera in all angles and directions to help the adventurous alter-ego of Toad exhume stars and search for treasure. These mini-levels and the happy-go-lucky Mushroom Retainer take center stage in Nintendo's Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, revealed at this year's E3.
Captain Toad may now be an intrepid treasure hunter, but that doesn't mean he registers as a tough and powerful dude. In fact, Captain Toad can't jump or fight. But that doesn't bother Captain Toad, for he has a weapon tougher than any raccoon tail, parasol, or Fire Flower: Captain Toad has brains. Hopefully, players have them too, as the puzzles go from pleasant to pandemonium.
Players utilize the Gamepad to rotate the camera left, right, up, and down to see the spatial puzzle from all angles to find the least dangerous route for Toad to traverse, collecting coins and diamonds along the way. Familiar enemies such as Thwomps and Magikoopas as well as major bosses demand all of Toad's power under the mushroom cap and occasionally a bop with a turnip along the way.
One of the most demanding levels I had during my hands-on play involved the lava monster pictured above. Not only did I have to angle my camera to find the right pathways to take Toad down, I had to do it while dodging the fiery breath of the monster by hiding behind metal panels, not all of which were stationary. Adding to the danger was the temptation of three diamonds strewn about the level in precarious positions, similar to the green stars of Super Mario 3D World or the star coins of the New Super Mario Bros. series. As a confessed completionist, I admit I took a bit of damage reaching out for one of shimmering jewels instead of focusing on the pathway.
Not everyone finds entertainment in multiplayer shooters, zombie-slaying, or open-world adventures. These people should flock to Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and enjoy using every neuron possible. And to those who do like those other type of games, if they enjoy puzzlers as well, they should also take a look at this brave little shroom's tale of tricky treasure hunting.