Title: Toki Tori 2+
Platform: Nintendo Switch eShop
Developer: Two Tribes
Publisher: Two Tribes
Release Date: February 23rd, 2018 (NA)
Review copy provided by Two Tribes
Toki Tori is a little yellow bird (not related to Tweety) that was created by Two Tribes way back in 2001 when he debuted on the Game Boy Color. Then at around 2008 he made his comeback with a remake of that game on WiiWare in beautiful Donkey Kong Country-esc pre-rendered graphics. Then on April 4th, 2013 Two Tribes released the sequel Toki Tori 2 on the Wii U eShop. Two Tribes actually then only a few months later on September 12th, 2013 released an enhanced version, free of charge for Wii U owners of the game titled Toki Tori 2+.
Unfortunately the game’s extended development caused the budget to balloon and the sales didn’t make up for the increased costs, and thus caused the team to heavily downsize to the point where after their follow-up game RIVE (also on Switch eShop), the team would no longer create new games, just re-release their prior games as needed. RIVE on Switch was ported from Steam by Engine Software (the same team behind Toki Tori 3D on 3DS eShop), where as Toki Tori 2+ on Switch is actually by Two Tribes themselves.
So with the history lesson out of the way, how does the game fare? Let’s find out!
A look at the first level, showing hermit crabs and figuring out what to do
The game puts you in control of a yellow bird called Toki Tori, and when you land in your home area and get adjusted to the game’s mechanics of your two abilities; whistling and stomping. Whistling causes creatures to come closer to you, while stomping makes them move away from you.
The game requires you to lure or repel creatures to be able to get Toki Tori to progress. Examples include hermit crabs who live in block shells who provide steps for Toki Tori to climb upward, or perhaps to block something like lava. There are also pink bugs that must be eaten by frogs who then spit out a bubble which lifts Toki Tori off the ground onto inaccessible areas. This is important because Toki Tori can’t jump. Him and Captain Toad would get along!
The game is a puzzle game but because Toki Tori can’t jump it’s hard to call it a platformer at all. It’s more of an adventure game of sorts. There’s a collectathon aspect where you’re collecting golden wings which is what you’re mainly collecting, and for what purpose I’m not entirely sure. There are in-game achievements (which are exclusive to the Switch version!) and one is for collecting them all. There are a variety of achievements to earn, such as falling in lava (with a reference to a familiar colonel heh), one for avoiding the fast-travel eagle (which as going through an exit gate), etc.
A look at a lava level
Another key mechanic is using the whistling ability to make songs which activate various effects. See, Toki Tori can whistle a short tune by quickly tapping the A button, or a long tune by holding the A button. Do these in a certain order for a desired ability. For example; short-short-long-long brings you back to your last checkpoint!
Another neat feature is the Tokidex (which may or may not be named after a certain object in a certain franchise), where if you whistle short-long-short-short, a white hint bird comes down with a camera. You use the A button to snap a photo, and if you aim the camera at a creature or object, it will be “collected” into your Tokidex!
Visually it’s really pretty. Like the remake of the original game, it uses pre-rendered graphics and the environments and characters are well animated. The game has quite an atmospheric tone at times. In some areas you even get a silhouette effect like in the newer Donkey Kong Country games by Retro Studios and the UbiArt Rayman games. A cool visual mechanic is using what appear to be fireflies to light the way for Toki Tori in dark caves by whistling at them. This is needed also because of these skull mask enemies which can only be immobilized by light.
A look at some of the achievements. See what they did there?
Audio-wise the music is also atmospheric. Hell I got a Pikmin 3-vibe at one point! Some of the levels go for a more quiet sound but also will have music appropriate for the environment. Nothing memorable, but I liked it!
Overall the game is fun but VERY challenging. I got stumped in a number of areas. Thankfully there are branching paths to try out if you get stuck. But some areas WILL test your creativity in how you will get past certain obstacles. I do recommend it if you enjoy a more relaxing experience and want something to make you think and get creative, all with a lovely visual style.
+ It’s a pretty game for sure. Runs in native 1080p docked on Switch, and improvement from 720p on Wii U.
+ It’s slow-paced so if you want a more relaxing game, this is a good one. No time-limits either. You can go at your own pace.
+ The music is nice and adds to the atmosphere.
+ The achievement images gave me a laugh, especially the one earned by falling into the lava!
– It’s hard at times. You’ll feel stuck at some point and go through much trial and error.