Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
I was looking forward to seeing this the most, having been a huge fan of Captain Toad’s levels from Super Mario 3D World. It’s exactly that but with some new mechanics. The haunted house level had doors that led to one another, set into walls that you could move with the gamepad, which will hopefully be elaborated on for some really tough puzzles.
There was a mine cart level that mixed things up dramatically, sending Toad into a first-person view to shoot turnips at enemies and diamonds. It was a little short, but worked well as a complement to the main mechanics.
The best addition was the boss fight: A big red dragon sat in the centre of a circular chamber firing lava balls at poor Captain Toad. It was up to me to move him from cover to cover until finally dropping on the sod’s head. There was a surprising amount of exploration here, as little nooks in the level featured diamonds and coins.
Captain Toad reporting for duty! Adam has given a good overview of the levels already so I won’t dwell on that side of things – especially as I didn’t have time for the mine cart level. It more or less plays exactly like you would imagine that it does from a quick glance.
Toad plods along picking up coins and wreaking havoc, by harvesting crops early in some weird attempt to collect coins. He will also collect gems and stars whilst accidentally killing small and large enemies alike through bumbling something up, in a way not dissimilar to an 80’s cartoon joke character. Basically Toad is Snarf from Thundercats in this analogy.
It’s not taxing on your wit or your hand eye co-ordination, but presents itself to be what will likely be a fun and relaxing action puzzler. The motion controls and touchscreen elements were all pretty fun and interesting, and hopefully it will get a little harder from what was shown, as it did lay on the easy side of things a bit too much. I did find it a little frustrating, as I felt that I had to be overly patient; but considering the conditions it was demoed under, I’ll forgive it.
Yoshi’s Woolly World
This game is ridiculously adorable and I want to live in it. Yarn isn’t just an aesthetic, but a cleverly used aspect of the game that allows you to unravel walls and tie up enemies among other things. Yoshi’s eggs are also replaced with tiny balls of yarn that may or may not have induced an overdose of cuteness within me.
In one level, Yoshi’s balls of yarns were replaced by adorable cotton chicks. Throwing these had a different effect in making bridges for Yoshi to walk on, though they would disappear quite quickly. I’m eager to see if there will be more elements like this.
The game reminded me of both Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story, combining their best elements into one adorable romp and did I mention how adorable it was?
The best part? No Baby Mario!
It is basically a cross between Yoshi Story and Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Which was more or less expected and I’m fine with that. It plays well, but a few things did feel a little off. Yoshi’s jump seemed a little pathetic but it may be me remembering his Smash Bros performances rather than any more Yoshi-related ones. It just seems a little low.
Another thing that felt really off is that the screen doesn’t split when playing with multiple Yoshis. Having the main player look down to the Gamepad and the second player on the main TV would be great. Unfortunately, if one player exits the screen the other player has to go back to them else they won’t be able to see what they’re doing. Leaving them to fumble around off screen.
As the E3 Nintendo Direct made clear, there isn’t any sense of urgency. You can take your time, explore and mess around with your co-op partner. It seems quite fun and there are tonnes of hidden things to find in the levels, so hopefully the challenge will come from that instead of a time limit.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time with this as I wanted. Like Yoshi’s Woolly World, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse features a strong aesthetic in the form of claymation, and it looks impeccably close to the real thing. If I didn’t know any better I’d swear it was claymation footage.
Rainbow Curse has similar gameplay to Kirby’s DS titles in which you had to draw paths on the touchscreen, done here on the gamepad. I’m a little concerned about the fact that you draw Kirby’s paths here, as there is little incentive to actually look at the big screen. That said, it’s a fun game and it looks like there is plenty of room for exploration in each level since, as the Nintendo rep continued to tell me, you don’t need to be afraid to head anywhere as you can just draw a path back.
It was the first game I played at the event and I immediately knew I wanted it. I played Rainbow Curse a while back and if memory serves then it should give you something in line with that. It’s aesthetically awesome and I love it. Granted, the clay-like structure of it all looks brilliant, but strangely surreal at the same time. Like your eyes are tricking you into seeing something that isn’t truly there; the art style makes it all pop out slightly.
Drawing paths was fun and easy to use to control Kirby, though I did find that making mistakes while drawing made me feel clumsy. It was made particularly evident by my perfectionist nature, trying to collect everything in sight.
The feeling of getting the pink ball to activate a small circle of flowers to then gain more stars. All the sounds hit just the right note, that gives you that positive feeling of doing something right even though it was simple to do.
The tricks that you can perform with Kirby taking ramps at speed and doing loops and other fun tricks at speed is where most of the joy comes. Pulling off perfect jumps between two of your drawn rainbows is incredibly satisfying, and a joy when it works.