Great visuals; simple controls; satisfying gameplay
Too much is left to the players to figure out
I never played the original Toki Tori. While I’d heard lots of strong praise for the title, it released a little too late in the Game Boy Color’s lifetime for me to find a whole lot of interest. I had my shiny new Game Boy Advance, and I wasn’t looking back. Fast forward 12 years later, and here I am getting a chance to rectify that mistake with the Wii U sequel, Toki Tori 2. So, was it worth the wait? I’d say so.
For the uninitiated, Toki Tori 2 has players control the titular character through each level using Toki Tori’s ability to chirp, pound the ground and… that’s about it. While this might sound simple, developer Two Tribes has found a lot of different ways to stretch this concept and make it feel fresh each time you interact with the overall world.
The simplicity is both part of the game’s charm and challenge. While it might seem like this would hinder the gameplay, the game does add a lot of different things for your character to interact with, and trying Toki Tori’s abilities on different animals and objects is part of the game’s fun. While the puzzles can be quite difficult to solve, there is also a very high level of satisfaction to be had when you finish a more difficult level.
The game’s environments are really quite impressive. One of the biggest praises heaped on the original Toki Tori is that it looked very advanced for a Game Boy Color title. Thankfully, just as much effort has been put into the sequel, which looks absolutely fantastic. The graphics here are lush and vibrant and they really stand out in HD. There’s a lot of fun and color to the world of Toki Tori 2, and it’s a perfect fit for the game’s peaceful tone.
One of the biggest qualms I have with Toki Tori 2 is that players are left too much to their own devices. The game immediately dumps you in, with no tutorial or text to explain how or where you’re going. While some gamers will embrace this freedom, it’s going to be troublesome for a lot of others, and I’ll freely admit that it was daunting for me. I find this to be a common occurrence with a lot of downloadable games, but it’s a lot easier to dump new players into, say, a side-scroller like Gunman Clive than it is to throw them into a puzzle game.
This isn’t just a problem at the outset, either. There are plenty of occasions where a simple text box would have made a huge difference for me. The only way I knew what anything did was to try it out, and this was really frustrating when I was just trying to sit down and play for a few minutes. A couple different times, I was unsure whether or not I’d accidentally killed a bug critical to solving a puzzle or if it would eventually respawn. Frustrated, I simply reset the level and tried again, unsure whether or not this was required on my part in the first place.
Toki Tori 2 won’t be for everyone. The pace is slow and the price tag will keep away a lot of people on the fence. But for those that enjoyed the original, or puzzle fans that might have missed the boat, this is a very unique and cerebral experience that shouldn’t be missed.
Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.