You’ve finished LostWinds and you’re pulling faces at the rest of the European WiiWare line-up. Toki Tori, Two Tribes’ 2D puzzler, may be your next Wii downloadable, assuming you’ve got enough memory left. After the link.
Toki Tori made its first appearance on Game Boy Colour back in 2001, and has now been re-packaged for WiiWare. It’s quite a large game at 290 blocks, larger than the excellent LostWinds but considering the two share the same price tag of 900 Wii Points, it’s far from its equal.
You play as a chicken, Toki Tori, that needs to collect egg-mates scattered around 2D platform levels. Play consists of pointing a cursor on a map, using power-ups, and watching the game do the rest. See a video of it here. Easy? Not so fast.
As levels go on, Toki Tori goes from mind-numbingly simple to Wii-mote-through-telly difficult. As you progress, special abilities are added which are accessed by pressing ‘B’ on the controller. You can move blocks, build bridges, trap ghosts, warp and turn porcupines into ice-cubes. All these tricks may make the chicken’s journey easier, but they do, in fact, come with their own set of problems.
The game rations the amount of times you can use each one of your abilities, forcing careful planning. A simple press of the ‘+’ button allows a level restart. If a puzzle becomes too difficult you can use a wildcard, allowing you to skip the level: you only get one of these. Find yourself in the same situation later on and you need to go back and retrieve the wildcard by solving the initial problem. If you can’t do both, you’re stuck.
This issue could be negated by the fact that another person can pick up a Wii-mote and draw hints on the screen but as we have no friends and therefore only one remote, we didn’t get to see how this works.
Being stuck wouldn’t be as frustrating if the music didn’t make us want to drown small kittens. You might argue, due to the cutesy graphical style and bright colours, that this is a kids’ game and therefore an overly cheery, grating melody is what they want to hear. The fact is, Toki Tori can be really hard with some levels taking us over half on hour to complete. Luckily the sound can be turned off the in the options menu.
For us, Toki Tori is one of those games that just acts as a bit of light relief if we’ve got half an hour to spare. If you’re into your puzzles however, you’ll most likely be impressed if you haven’t already got it on your phone or your old, dependable GBC. There’s plenty of life in it: over 70 levels, which is more than enough there to justify the price tag. However, after playing LostWinds, a game full of imagination and craftsmanship, it’s fair to say we were expecting more.
By Mike Bowden