Toki Tori Switch Review by SwitchWatch

Developer: Two Tribes

Publisher: Two Tribes

Release Date: March 30th 2018

Price as of Article: $4.49 USD, £4.49 GBP

Rating: E

File size: 133.17 MB

Introduction

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.“ You may have encountered this phrase at some point in your life. In my case, it was with Toki Tori. It looked so cute, this little yellow chick. Maybe even innocent. Without self-praising, some people think this about me. Little, cute and innocent but this would not be a true reflection. Toki Tori looks cute and child friendly but hidden beneath this innocent looking exterior hides a very tricky game.

With more than 80 levels in total, you are up for a fair challenge. Did I end up pulling out my own hair out or was this a brush off my shoulder…?

Story
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Toki, do you have any clues for some stages in there? No? You sure? … Damn!

Toki Tori has to solve puzzles and make his way through five worlds packed with obstacles. His goal: collect all missing eggs! It is as simple as that. Who needs princesses to save anyway?!

You get little snippets of the story between each world, but mostly they introduce you to a new weapon or give you a brief description of the next world you are about to step into. Since there is not too much to tell about the story, let me give you some trivia about Toki Tori in general.

Originally released in 2001 for Game Boy Color, our little friend sure has some history. In 2003, a brushed-up version was released on Nintendo’s Wii as well as on other platforms. If you are a proud owner of a WiiU, you might have seen this title pop up since its release on November 7th, 2013. See, I was not joking around when I said Toki Tori had been around for quite some time.

Speaking of time, I found myself puzzled when I heard the name of this game. ‘Toki’ means ‘time’ in Japanese as ‘Tori’ means ‘bird’. With the ability to turn back time in this game to undo a mistake, I might have a conspiracy theory for the name going on here…

Audio
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Besides music I enjoyed doing some other things as well…

The title from Two Tribes has a pleasant soundtrack. For each world, you are provided with another one. I am rather picky about music and I have most issues with that in many games. But I am happy to state that I liked the ones in Toki Tori.

Every sone to each world is very fitting. Forest Falls, the very first world and easiest to introduce you to the game, has a very upbeat song playing along. The ukulele in there is so fun to listen to. My personal favourite is the title of Creepy Castle. In general, the music plays along well and is not annoying at all. I just turned it down because I could not figure out some puzzles and need a little bit more silence to concentrate. But that ‘flaw’ is only on me!

Visuals and performance
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At least my bubble for an amazing level design did not burst.

The environment in Toki Tori is as bright and colourful as our hero himself. With a very solid performance in handheld and TV mode, this game does not have to hide anywhere. 60 fps make the game run smooth as silk. Plus, Toki Tori has HD rumble support as well. Not very often you are able to experience it, but at least you have the option. Although I have to share the opinion Brian had while playing the sequel in his review, it did not add a lot of value to the game experience at all.

Since this game provides a video capture function, you are able to record some of your gameplay. This is always nice, in my opinion, and adds a great value if you are into sharing a lot on social media (like me. Sometimes at least!).

The characters you encounter are ghosts, fishes and things of that sort. Taking a close look at protagonist Toki, your enemies have a clear vibe of trouble while they lurk around the level. With vibrant colours, I found the different worlds pleasant to look at. I loved how Two Tribes realised several different themes like being undersea, a castle at night and some sewer where you can only pity poor Toki as he is stuck there. In other words: the developer did a great job on porting this Game Boy Classic to a modern platform and gave this title a great re-paint.

Gameplay

Toki Tori offers a great variety in each world. You have a good amount of level in normal mode. If you want a bit more of a challenge, you can try playing in hard and bonus mode. Starting in Forest Falls, you have a fair chance to get used to the controls. When playing, you do not get a tutorial, but this is not necessary at all. When pressing the + button, you can access the controls and give yourself a little overview. Every time a new ability or weapon is presented to you, the game will briefly explain it to you. Two Tribes made a good job in keeping you feeling challenged but not frustrated.

But then, I encountered world three and beyond…

Do not take it lightly if I tell you this game can be hard. Sometimes, I was stuck for some time and this is not my first puzzle game. With my ambition cheering on my left and my pride resting on the right shoulder, I stared down my Nintendo Switch. At some point, I ended up taking the path down playing with trial and error. Thankfully, Toki Tori has a rewind function, so you could undo mistakes without any limits. Would be in handy in real life as well, huh?

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Simple and clean: the controls of Toki Tori.

You rewind and rewind, but nothing changes. You still get stuck and Toki is patiently waiting for your next move. In this case, you could use a so-called ‘Wildcard’. The handy little thing lets you skip a stage once. Mine was used in world three, the only time I got so frustrated and told my pride, as well as my ambition, to have mercy on me. Probably the only time I was not happy with the design of a level. You had to outrun this evil slug to finish the stage properly. That was the point the touchscreen support would have come in handy for me.

Using my smartphone on a regular and probably excessive basis, I found myself sometimes more skillful when it comes to such situations. Luckily, this issue might not be transferred to others having a little bit more skill in their fingertips than I have and is not too much of a big deal. It was included in the edition for the Wii U, but I assume Two Tribes had a good reason to remove it. Would have been a nice feature for people like me, but does not affect the game overall too much.

This little exception for me aside, Toki Tori’s difficulty level is just about right. You never have to face unfair situations to run against time or depend on today’s amount of luck. When you carefully plan your moves and that’s your thing, it will lead you to success. With no ability to jump, you will face a lot more problems than you first might think. Keep this in mind if you are a fan of fast, skilled-timed jumps in stages. I had my problems at first as well, but if you get used to it, you will be fine. Otherwise, you may find this gameplay is too slow for your tastes even though Toki can run pretty fast here.

One thing made me sad, though. The port of Toki Tori for the Nintendo Switch has no level editor mode like the PC version. If you ask me, I think this would have been a great addition for fans of Toki Tori to design their own level. Sharing with other people sure would have been a fun addition.

*This review was written by Jennifer for switchwatch.co.uk.

Value
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What’s my final verdict? Does Toki have to fear the results or not?!

At the end of my review, let’s ask the question we all ask ourselves here: is this a good game? Come on, it would not be a bad one even if it had existed since 2001! With various ports for Nintendo consoles as well as for PC, this game does more than just turn your head. It will turn the inside of your brain as well. With under $5.00 USD or £5.00 GBP you have an amazing deal here. But you have to like this kind of game. I liked reviewing this game for SwitchWatch and found it very pleasant.

As a parent, be aware that this software is not a title for younger children despite its appearance. In this case, I would suggest One Eyed Kutkh (review for SwitchWatch from guest writer Mark Burchell). If you are an adult and you are searching for a game to play yourself? Try this game. If you cannot get enough of Toki’s adventures, you can also try the previously released sequel Toki Tori 2+!

* A review copy of Toki Tori 2 was provided to Switchwatch by Two Tribes.

Pros

P

Adorable from start to finish

P

80+ level included

P

Good range of abilities/items

P

Nice performance

Cons

P

Slow gameplay

P

No touchscreen support

P

Low replay value