Review: Toki Tori (Wii U eShop)

Super cheap puzzle fun

Many moons ago, when WiiWare first launched on the Wii, Two Tribes had Toki Tori ready to go as one of the very first games on the service. It was a remake of the Game Boy Color game, which in itself was also a pseudo-remake; we liked it a lot.

Unfortunately for some, however, a PC version of the game was released not too long afterwards which, over time, received a number of extra features and additional content that never made it over to the Nintendo equivalent, and was cheaper to boot. It might have taken a while, but this version is now finally also available on a Nintendo system with the Wii U, meaning console fans can now finally enjoy the "complete" version of the game.

It needs almost no introduction at this point - you take the role of Toki Tori, a little yellow chick, as you attempt to save all your siblings (still in their eggs) in every level across five different worlds. By default, Toki Tori can't do much except run around, climb ladders and fall down, but every level gives him a set amount of special power-ups to use which make the rescue mission a bit easier. And of course, there are enemies to worry about as well.

Things start off pretty simple, with items that allow you to place small bridges, but you'll quickly get your hands on all sorts of different crazy gadgets depending on the world you're in, from freeze rays to teleports. In each level, the big challenge is usually figuring out where to use your items, as the solution generally doesn't leave you with any spares; everything has to be right. Fortunately, a handy feature that has made the journey across from the PC version, the rewind button, allows you to undo any mistakes without being forced to restart the entire level.

The "normal" levels in each world aren't particularly tough to figure out until near the end, but as you make progress, you'll also unlock non-required "hard" levels, which up the ante considerably, as well as the PC version's "bonus" levels, which are arguably even harder. Another carry-over from the PC release is an entire fifth world, originally created as part of an elaborate alternate reality game involving Valve's Portal 2, although for obvious reasons you won't find any references to that fact here. It even introduces a new power-up!

Graphically and musically, the game still holds up quite well, with nice crisp visuals and a catchy soundtrack with several different variations of each song depending on the level you're in. If you didn't play the fifth world before, don't expect new music - it only has ambient sound effects.

Although this is one of the best options you'll have to play the game, there is one omission that creative types will no doubt find slightly annoying - the PC version eventually got a level editor, which sadly did not survive the trip to the Wii U eShop. However, with the recent issues Two Tribes had in bringing over Toki Tori 2's level editor, we can't exactly blame the developer.

What this version does have that's unique — without an elaborate setup on other platforms — is a range of control options on the GamePad to suit any player. You can use physical controls and watch the TV, of course, but it's also possible to play entirely with touch controls on the smaller screen, which is ideal for gamers used to smartphones and tablets; fans of that control scheme can use the touch screen while still assessing and viewing the puzzles on the TV, of course. Off-TV play is also an option with either control scheme, so from that perspective it's the most flexible iteration of the game.

Conclusion

If you still haven't played Toki Tori, the Wii U eShop version of the game gives you some serious bang for your buck. It includes all but one of the PC version's features, making it the second most complete version out there, and comes at an extremely affordable price to boot.

It's slightly harder to recommend for those who've already played the WiiWare version, or those who were really hoping to make some levels themselves, but we would suggest that it's an enjoyable puzzle option with an attractive initial price and, even when that's expired, is still good value.