|System: Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Two Tribes||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Two Tribes||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: JJune 2, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Years ago, Toki Tori was just one of dozens of good titles to make their way onto the Gameboy Color, but as we know, that old handheld has been out of commission for quite some time. Although that may be true, the Wii has shown via its virtual console that oldies can certainly still be goodies. With a fresh coat of paint, Toki Tori firmly reaffirms what a quality title it was and still is. It also cements itself among the top titles of the current WiiWare crop.
Plain and simple, Toki Tori is a puzzle game. You aim to guide a young chicken across levels while searching for eggs. On the surface the concept sounds very straight forward, but the deeper you delve into this wacky world, the more gizmos and gadgets will come into play. Finding these eggs is no simple task. It often requires poor little Toki Tori to build bridges or even teleport to get to his desired destination. The ability to build bridges and teleport are only two of the unique abilities this little bird will unlock over the course of his quest. Others include a freeze ray to create blocks of ice out of dangerous enemies, a suction gun to eliminate impending hazards, seeds which turn into blocks to create a road out of an annoying crevice, and several more. These skills are what make the game so challenging at times, because most levels assign a limited number of uses for each. Be assured, you will need every one of the items given to pass the test. Screw up once, and it's time for the old restart!
It all sounds fairly cut and dry, but the true inventiveness of some of the obstacles becomes more and more apparent the further you go. With well over 40 levels to guide your tiny pal through, there will certainly be more than a few bumps along the way. For that, Toki Tori has one wild card you can use at any given time. The wild card allows you to skip a level, but it can only be regained if you go back and beat that trouble spot. As an added bonus, Toki Tori will spam your Wii inbox with postcards detailing his difficult journey. When you are short on friends, it can be nice to hear from anyone (single tear). Just give me five minutes and I'll be ok
Ok, now onto the meat and potatoes. Graphically this is a fun title; it's nothing too fancy, but for what the game is trying to be, there is no need for flash. What it does do effectively is use colors. The color palette is nice and bright, creating a vibrant world that is fun to look at. Considering some of these levels will require more than one go around, it is nice the game is not a strain on the eyes.
The sound matches up with the graphics nicely, using lively background tracks for each puzzle. For a game where thinking is at a premium, there will be more than one occasion where you find yourself pondering your next move. Complete silence or a crumby score would have really put a damper on the whole experience. All of the abilities that Toki Tori gains are also accompanied by their own quirky sound effect.
The controls are a little bumpy. If you just use the Wii-mote to point-and-click Toki Tori towards his destination, frustration will soon set in, especially on levels where enemies patrol the area. Too often, you will find the little guy switching directions or going further than first instructed. As such, the use of the Nunchuk for movement is the way to go. It is really odd that they did not include the option to simply hold the Wii-mote like an old school Nintendo controller or give the option to use the classic controller. Despite my gripes, the Nunchuk option works well enough to keep the game entertaining.
Toki Tori is a quality title with hours of entertainment for those interested in IQ-testing puzzles. It is also a solid step for WiiWare, which seems to be delivering almost as many quality titles as the Wii itself. As we have seen, these new downloads can put a real strain on the old 512mb memory bank, but Toki Tori is definitely worth the file space.
CCC Freelance Writer