Review: Toki Tori 3D (3DS)

Did Two Tribes hatch a portable golden egg?

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 11/06/2015 12:00 2 Comments     ShareThis
The Final Grade
B+
Excellent
grade/score info
1up
1-Up Mushroom for...
Clever resource management puzzle gameplay; smooth platforming; improved rewind mechanic; clever puzzles
1up
Poison Mushroom for...
Environment and enemy variety could be improved; bland soundtrack; sedate pacing won't be everyone's cup of tea

Toki Tori is one of those series that deserves more attention than it gets. Two Tribes is a small studio with an equally diminutive list of released games, but for the most part what the developer puts out is fun and memorable. Edge, Swords & Soldiers, and Toki Tori are arguably the biggest titles from the company, but the latter is easily its most recognizable franchise, with a modest (but devout!) following. The series first appeared on Game Boy Color with Toki Tori, published by Capcom back in 2001. In the years since, it has been remade for WiiWare, Wii U, and now 3DS. This latest effort was ported by developer Engine Software and boasts 3D visuals, while retaining the gameplay improvements of the Wii U version. Despite being a third rehash, Toki Tori 3D is another improvement of an already solid game, and for anyone who has yet to give the series a try, this is the perfect time to start.

Toki Tori 3D is a puzzle-platformer game. Toki Tori, the nominal pudgy bird and star, must navigate through over 80 stages trying to get back his eggs. Each stage has a certain number of eggs to collect, with Toki Tori using a variety of items and abilities to get the job done. What makes Toki Tori 3D particularly unique among other, similar puzzle-platformers is the need for resource management. Some items can only be used a certain number of times in a given stage, making it essential to observe the layout of each puzzle and plan accordingly. Have only one bridge to build? Well, don’t waste it on a spot that can already be reached with a ladder. This sort of thinking defines Toki Tori 3D‘s gameplay, and it’s a very satisfying system to learn and exploit. The puzzles start out simple enough, but the challenge gradually increases at a perfect curve as Toki Tori delves deeper into his adventure.

Toki Tori 3D is largely identical to the HD re-release of Toki Tori available on Wii U. This includes the rewind feature that was introduced in that game, an addition which largely corrected some of the tedium of the original Toki Tori remake on Wii from 2008. It’s common to make a mistake when using a resource in Toki Tori 3D, but the penalty for doing so in the Wii version would mean replaying an entire stage just to correct a small error. Toki Tori 3D retains its HD sibling’s more sensible rewind ability, which allows players to instead scroll through their progress in a given stage and pinpoint the exact moment where they made a mistake. Thankfully, rewinding has been made much less finicky this time around; I had a way easier time controlling the flow of the replay and stopping it where I needed to in Toki Tori 3D.

Toki Tori has never been a graphical powerhouse (though the Game Boy Color original was pretty sophisticated for what it was, back in the day!), but what the series lacks in splashy effects, it makes up for with a bubbly, cartoony aesthetic. Toki Tori is as huggable as it gets, and the game’s stages all look like they’ve been plucked from a computer-animated movie. The music is a little on the bland side, but it gets the job done, and together with the graphics, Toki Tori 3D is one of the more handsome eShop releases on 3DS. It’s not as impressive as on Wii U, or even Wii for that matter, but the title makes good use of 3DS’s 3D screen, so at least there’s a tradeoff for the lower visual fidelity. There isn’t a ton of enemy variety to behold, however, and while each of the respective worlds has a unique visual style, the stages within quickly begin to bleed together.

That said, the puzzles themselves certainly don’t suffer from a lack of variety, regardless of what the stages look like. The satisfaction of solving puzzles in Toki Tori 3D is undeniable, proving to be right up there with the likes of Mario vs. Donkey Kong or Lemmings. It doesn’t seem to matter how much time passes, as the series’ signature resource management remains as engaging as it was back in 2001. I also really enjoy the array of abilities and tools that Toki Tori has at his disposal; from the Freeze-o-Matic to teleporting, there are a lot of different ways to get hold of the bird’s missing eggs! For $1.99, Two Tribes has practically made this a compulsory purchase. Toki Tori 3D is fun, its core concept is still original, and it’s also the best version yet of this game. Anyone who has already bought the Wii or Wii U editions of Toki Tori likely won’t find enough differences here to warrant another purchase, but I hope that everyone else who has yet to discover this franchise finally gives it a look. Once you’ve completed this one, there’s also Toki Tori 2+ to download on Wii U, as well!

2 Responses to “Review: Toki Tori 3D (3DS)”

  • 0 points
    says...

    Thanks for the review. I already have both of these games on the Wii U, so no need to buy again. Good to know it’s a solid version though.

    Thumb up 2
    • 1249 points
      Robert Marrujo says...

      We live to serve, dpw74! Yeah, if you have those two you’re probably covered, but I have to admit, at $2 and being able to take the game on the road, Toki Tori 3D is a real steal.

      Thumb up 0

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