The first level I played at E3 was typical of the original mini-game, with spiky foes to sidestep, a river to cross and an Aztec-like structure to climb. As well as there being more collectible extras like coins, there were more moving parts than the early levels of the 3D World game, making up for Toad's slow, non-jumping movement. Having a clear end goal rather than a set of things to collect meant backtracking wasn't mandatory, something that sometimes made the 3D World levels tedious to negotiate.
In contrast, the second level used the GamePad as a camera for first-person shooting. As Toad rolled along automatically in a mine cart, I aimed the view by moving the tablet while firing off smiley turnips using the right trigger. There was plenty to shoot the happy root veggies at, including piranha plants, power blocks and those collectible coins and gems. For the brief minute it lasted it was fun if not spectacular, but it was an elegant use of the GamePad's motion-sensing qualities.
looks to follow on from Super Mario 3D World
by integrating the tablet subtly, like using the touchscreen to hold enemies in place or slide blocks around. What most interested me, though, was a willingness to play around with that cubist formula. While another level on show, a haunted mansion, was familiar, the last level felt fresh and different, even if it was still really in a 3D cubic space.
Toad's task in this level was to circle round a lava dragon, similar to the one in Super Mario Galaxy.
With no weapons to hand, he had to stay hidden behind pieces of cover to avoid the dragon's poison breath, whilst being aware of flaming meteors falling from above. It was a bit like a less nightmarish version of the Scarecrow stealth game from Batman: Arkham Origins,
and that's something I wasn't expecting from Treasure Tracker.
I do have reservations over how Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker
can keep its slower-paced puzzling fresh and interesting over a full game, however long it proves to be. That said, I was impressed by its ability to change up the play while retaining that core look and style. If it can keep doing that then it'll be a good day's hunting for Captain Toad when his game hits Wii U this holiday.