News Article

Hands On: Toki Tori and EDGE (Two Tribes Classics)

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Budget brilliance?

After announcing their existence earlier in the year, Two Tribes recently lifted the lid on its Classics range coming to the Wii U eShop, three games that come to Nintendo's latest system in shiny optimised HD forms. It's possible that they'll all be familiar to gamers in some form or other, with each having appeared on a mix of WiiWare, PC and smartphone platforms. They'll come at eye-catching prices, too, with a special launch rate of $1.99 / €1.99 / £1.80 setting them up as relatively rare examples of budget-priced games on the service.

The natural question to ask is whether these ageing games still represent a worthwhile investment in 2013, with Toki Tori coming this month, EDGE in November and RUSH in December. We've spent a good amount of time with the close-to-final builds of Toki Tori and EDGE and, undoubtedly, both look like promising and entertaining releases.

Toki Tori may be familiar to WiiWare aficionados, as the puzzle title was popular on Nintendo's début download service. Unlike the recent Toki Tori 2+, this is a more conventional, stage-based puzzle experience. Each area has eggs to be retrieved, and you have to calculate the correct route and usage of your limited items to successfully retrieve the stricken chicks without getting stuck or killed by an enemy.

With multiple worlds and plenty of standard, Hard and Special stages, this undoubtedly offers a substantial amount of content. The graphical lick of paint — this is based on the PC version — is also attractive, giving the visuals improved crispness and details, albeit within the limitations of improving a fairly old engine. Nevertheless, as a download-only puzzle game the visuals stack up well, and the overall presentation and music is packed with charm.

Wii U-specific features are welcome, and provide a range of control and play options to satisfy any player. It's possible to play primarily on the TV, of course, while using physical controls to move and use items; there's another display option where the GamePad mirrors the TV and utilises touch controls, with taps accounting for movement and using items — off-TV play utilises either control setup. When you throw in the rewind option to get out of trouble, this is surely the most accessible version of Toki Tori to be produced.

In that sense this covers every base. There's lots of content, with stages to test and challenge even the most keen fans, and most importantly controls that utilise the greatest strengths of the Wii U and its controller. If you want traditional physical controls you're all set, but for gamers perhaps most used to tablet and smartphone gaming the touchscreen controls are intuitive and easy to use. This is the Toki Tori we've loved for years, but could be the definitive edition.

EDGE is the one that stands out in the Classics range, as the title that hasn't appeared on a Nintendo system in any form before the Wii U eShop. It's a game with an oddly troubled history, as it fell victim to the odd patent wars with Tim Langdell and Edge Games, disappearing from smartphone platforms multiple times before, thankfully, winning its legal battles and returning in recent times.

And that's certainly a positive for Nintendo owners, as the Mobigame-developed action-puzzle game is oddly compelling despite its relative simplicity, coming to the Wii U based on the PC version. This includes the original game and the rather fiendish EDGE Extended DLC, much like Toki Tori cramming in a substantial amount of content — by our count there are over 100 levels. Your goal is simple, use the D-Pad or left stick to move a cube through tricky areas to an end goal, at which point you're graded on your completion speed.

It's a simple concept, and the levels begin with fairly easy designs to teach you how to move around, master the basic physics of climbing some blocks and trigger switches; the experience flows nicely. Once the initial stages are down the complexity ramps up, however, and you need to master gravity defying moves where you cling to movable blocks, and other areas that demand great precision and speed. When clinging to blocks (which gives you EDGE bonus time) we found the D-Pad most effective due to a bit of an awkward dead-zone on the analogue stick, which is perhaps a legacy of this title's virtual D-Pad legacy on smartphones; for general manoeuvres and speed, however, the stick works best.

Potential owners shouldn't fear, based on screens, that this is an overly minimalist game. In later levels and, particular, the Extended levels, there's plenty of creative design on show, including one relatively early level where you manoeuvre around a walking robot to avoid plummeting to your doom. Not that death is too damaging; it'll affect your time and grade, yes, but copious checkpoints allow you to always have 'just one more try'.

The visuals — despite 1080p clarity — are a pleasing retro throwback, and the audio also truly shines through. At times unapologetically retro, on other occasions infusing the old-school with hints of modern electronic music, it's a fantastic backdrop to the compulsive gameplay. You can play off-TV on the GamePad, of course, but playing on a TV with the volume up is certainly the best option.


Though each is so different in style, these Two Tribes Classics are both more than welcome inclusions on the Wii U eShop, especially at their budget prices. They may not be pushing any boundaries, but they're simple, undeniable fun; these may be worth sticking on those wishlists.

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User Comments (18)

DiscoGentleman

#3

DiscoGentleman said:

Two Tribes are class acts, and should be a leader in morality among developers, indie & major. This awesome news and the recent news of 'although the stage builder in Toki Tori 2+ is not coming to Wii U, a free steam purchase isoffered to anyone who owns the Wii U version'- awesome. Absolutely consumer-focused. They deserve some pats on the back.

I will be purchasing both of these to support them (and because the games look fun).

Sjoerd

#4

Sjoerd said:

I already own Toki Tori 1, but I'm defenitely going for EDGE and RUSH! I'd get them on PC but I want to support this mentality for supporting Wii U

unrandomsam

#5

unrandomsam said:

Edge tilt controls are really good on the version I have (Actually I think I have them on steam as well) and have played. Not something that would be expected. It is the only one I can think off the top of my head with those type of controls that works well and intuitively.

Nintenjoe64

#6

Nintenjoe64 said:

Does Edge not have touchscreen controls? It was my first iPhone game and I've still never completed it.

Collo

#8

Collo said:

Nintenjoe64: Nope, stick or dpad!

Everyone else: any questions?

brandonbwii

#9

brandonbwii said:

Any news on that top secret 3ds game I heard about somewhere? I think it was gonintendo.

rjejr

#10

rjejr said:

@Collo - Can you put instrcutions for the free steam version of Toki Tori 2+ in an easily understandable format, I read here that Nintnedo wasn't fond of havnig Steam IDs used on Miiverse (can't imagine why ;-). I have a Steam account and bought TT2+ about a month ago during the update sale. I was going to wait for the editor but decided the sale was to good to pass up. My kids love level editors though - they've made about a million in Granny in Paradise. They now know every famous line from Dirty Dancing w/o having seen the movie.

WiiLovePeace

#12

WiiLovePeace said:

@Collo Why no touch screen controls for EDGE, if I may ask?

Personally I'm most looking forward to RUSH, simply because it's the game I've played the least of the three. I haven't beaten any of them though iirc. I'm going to pick up all the games at a discounted rate so I can support Two Tribes despite already owning all these games in one form or another. Plus I love having & playing eShop games on my Wii U :D

erv

#13

erv said:

I'm buying almost all of them. 2 euros for quality little games? Yep, count me in.

FritzFrapp

#14

FritzFrapp said:

Great prices. Will be picking them all up, though have Toki Tori already. Loved that first game, but am struggling to enjoy Toki Tori 2+ so far. Not played very much of it, though, so hope I can find more enjoyment later.

Sceptic

#16

Sceptic said:

Great games at incredible prices. That's a fraction of the original PC price even.

RUSH is one of my all time favorites. A truly fantastic game.

Collo

#17

Collo said:

@rjejr Check www.twotribes.com for the details!

@WiiLovePiece Sticks and buttons are much more precise. Even if we did implement it, i don't think the pressure sensitive touch screen on Wii U works well enough for a virtual dpad control.

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