Though perhaps overwhelmed by the flood of Holiday releases - or unnoticed in Europe due to its peculiar arrival at the dawn of 2015 - we are big fans of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. If you're still on the look-out for a clever, charming game that actually utilises the Wii U's GamePad, it's one of the stronger recent titles to consider.
Despite a relatively straightforward premise it's also got surprising depth and hidden detail, which are partly covered in a recent Miiverse interview with game director Shinya Hiratake.
One minor revelation from this official 'Miiting' is that the title will support multiple amiibo when it's updated on 20th March; that's the date that the Super Mario range Toad amiibo will arrive and open up extra tasks of finding pixel Toads in levels. Hiratake-san also said the following, however - "There's a small surprise if you use other amiibo too! You can find that out for yourself when you play the game!" We don't expect it to be anything hugely significant, but in our dreams Captain Toad will don an outfit relevant to the amiibo - like we say, in our dreams.
Another post of note relates to a common theme in the game, as Hiratake-san highlighted inspiration from Arabian Nights.
I always thought Captain Toad's mushroom head looks sort of like a turban, so I tried to give the world a bit of an Arabian Nights theme, which you don't really see a lot of in the Mario series. With this Arabian Nights theme at the core, I aimed to create a world like you might see in a movie or an adventure novel. This game's about adventure, so we purposely made the atmosphere of the world feel a bit more serious compared to the Mario series.
Then there's the detail of early (but abandoned) plans for more first-person sections in which you explore through Captain Toad's perspective; sadly it proved too complicated.
We were actually experimenting with ways to play as Captain Toad in first-person for every stage! However, the controls and the rules got a little too complicated, so that didn't make it into the game. It was really fun and refreshing looking at the miniature worlds through the eyes of Captain Toad, so we utilized this idea for the minecart stages and the turnip cannons instead!!
Finally, in our summary at least, we've picked out this answer that suggests an alternative storyline that would have featured fan-favourite Rosalina; this also helps to explain some of the hidden pixel Rosalina characters in the game.
Actually, I didn't know about this either [pixel Rosalina appearances] until the game was completed! Looks like the designers put some extra love into this game! Although actually, there was a time when we were discussing whether the story of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker should connect with Super Mario 3D World or if we should present it as a story being read by Rosalina! If we had gone with the book idea, Rosalina might've appeared in person at the end of the game, but we decided to make the story connect with Super Mario 3D World in the end!
We certainly recommend reading the whole interview at the link below, as it's full of fun snippets of information. Are you a fan of Captain Toad's first standalone game?