Despite already releasing Toki Tori 2+ for Switch a couple of months back, developer Two Tribes decided to head back into the past and re-release the original Toki Tori as well. Honestly, having never really heard of these games before I was intrigued to check it out. What I discovered was a pleasant and challenging little puzzler. I do like nice surprises.
Controlling a young chick named Toki Tori you have to navigate 2D levels and rescue a bunch of eggs, all while utilising a number of skills at your disposal. Levels are fiendishly designed and what starts as a walk in the park soon becomes brain -teasingly difficult. You see, it’s possible to actually get stuck, which is why there’s a handy rewind function.
Abilities you can use include creating bridges, teleporting a limited distance or can also involve stopping a number of threats such as a way to cause ghosts to fall through the floor. Some abilities have limited use as well, so you need to plan out where to create bridges, or whether it’s best to teleport instead. It often ends up with you getting to the last remaining egg only to discover you don’t have the necessary ability that you need. It’s then a case of rewinding until you figure out the correct way of reaching the end. Something that sounds like it could be frustrating is anything but. Ultimately it’s a rewarding experience when you finally crack the level that’s been driving you insane for days.
Toki Tori is very basic in its look, almost like a mobile title (unsurprising it’s also been ported to iOS amongst every other platform released in the past ten years). But then when you’re looking at your path through the level having something that looks clean and uncluttered is a bonus. The levels themselves start off in a rather idyllic forest area before heading to a medieval castle and beyond. They each have their own unique element they introduce, ghosts being a constant presence in the castles whereas the later sewer area has slugs that are patrolling the pipes.
If there’s one criticism I can make about the Switch version, it is that controlling Toki Tori can be a bit troublesome at times. The D-Pad and control stick (whichever you choose) aren’t as responsive as they need to be. You may often miss ladders to climb and annoyingly, if you change direction with Toki Tori too many times he gets dizzy and doesn’t move for a second or so. Not ideal when you have a ghost coming for you. This is another reason why the Rewind function comes in handy; the game doesn’t penalise you for its use, and there’s no time limit mechanic.
With not just Normal levels, but Hard and Bonus ones unlockable as well, there’s plenty in Toki Tori to keep you occupied. And with its pick up and play nature, it’s perfect handheld fodder for your commute. So Toki Tori comes highly recommended to anyone who fancies some brain teasing puzzles for their Switch.