Strap on your backpack and grab your pickaxe, it’s time for a treasure-hunting adventure! This 2014 spinoff Mariopuzzle “platformer” re-released on the Nintendo Switch and 3DS systems this past July and features the colorful and cartoony adventure of Captain Toad and Toadette on their quest to retrieve Power Stars from Wingo, a giant crow interested in shiny objects. Along the way are isometric obstacle courses that must be maneuvered through using only their surroundings. Unlike every other playable character within the Mariouniverse, Toad and Toadette cannot run or jump, as their backpacks weigh them down. Despite their limitations, they can solve every puzzle they face—a grand total of 82, in fact.
The Nintendo Switch port offers a more comfortable and flexible playing style along with new content compared to its Wii U counterpart. For example, while the console is docked or in tabletop mode, players can use the right joy-con to control interactive objects like platforms and levers, as opposed to the standard touch controls, which is great for players who use their Switch as a traditional home console and those who prefer not to use touch.
Additionally, this version introduces a co-op mode, allowing one player to control Captain Toad and another to control the camera, objects, and even throw turnips at enemies in a pinch. Included with this version are new course designs based on levels from last year’s Super Mario Odyssey, with four kingdoms represented and available after the main campaign or by scanning a compatible amiibo figure. Of course, handheld mode plays like the original, using touch to manipulate objects instead of the joy-cons.
On the other hand, the somewhat impressive Nintendo 3DS port wraps the game in a much more portable package while emulating the original Wii U playstyle more faithfully. As a late-generation title, it looks pleasantly vibrant, plays fairly well on the handheld’s lower-resolution screens, and even supports full stereoscopic 3D. The game outputs on both screens like the Wii U and heavily relies on touch controls for manipulating interactive objects and allows more control over the camera (though the C-stick and shoulder buttons work too). This version suffers from a lower resolution and lack of co-op play compared to its sister port, but fortunately has the same new Odyssey-styled stages and content.
Image courtesy of Nintendo