Nintendo started something with Metroid on the NES. Having a different progression style in a 2D platformer was a big enough that it created a genre of its own: the Metroidvania. To this day, there are several games being created that build on the groundwork that Nintendo laid all those years ago.
Toki Tori 2+ from Two Tribes follows this template. The game came out five years ago on the Wii U and has since made the jump to PC and PS4. Now that it has come to the Nintendo Switch, we’ll examine the improvements that the developers made and see how it stacks up against the other fantastic indie games on the console.
Save the Birds
Toki Tori 2+ starts you out by walking through a bunch of little chicks. As you move through the environment, you start to realize that something is wrong with the peaceful forest. Fountains of dark water start exploding through the world and tearing up your surroundings. It’s not long before you discover that it’s up to you to stop the madness and save your fellow birds by finding five golden frogs.
Holding Yourself Back
Where Toki Tori 2+ really shines is in how it allows you to progress through the world. Most Metroidvanias will hold off sections of the world until you acquire certain power-ups to access them. This game doesn’t do that. Instead, the world is sectioned off by mechanics in the game. The only thing preventing you from accessing those parts is your own knowledge. That’s the fundamental brilliance of Toki Tori 2+. Nothing is blocked off, but there’s still natural progression as you learn how the game works and can go back through the world and solve certain puzzles.
That said, it’s worth noting that Toki Tori 2+ isn’t for everyone solely because of its pacing. Where most Metroidvanias are fast-paced and action heavy, this game is not. It’s a very slow ride that takes careful thought rather than jumping in guns blazing. There is no combat in Toki Tori 2+ either- all you can do is sing and stomp. With that in mind, if slow games bother you, you may want to look elsewhere.
On the subject of singing and stomping, Toki Tori 2+ uses them to great effect. Singing can attract other creatures to you, but certain melodies can also be used to set a checkpoint or restart a section. Stomping can scare creatures away and break certain floors beneath you. It’s your job to figure out when to use which one, and it all blends together quite nicely. There aren’t many options when you’re stuck on a puzzle- just sing or stomp until something happens.
When porting Toki Tori 2+ to the Switch, Two Tribes put forth a lot of effort into refining their product. Full HD is supported on the console (1080p in docked and 720p on handheld mode) with a rock solid 60 fps. HD Rumble has been incorporated into the Switch version on top of new puzzles and melodies to choose from.
It’s nice to see Two Tribes put forth so much effort into refining Toki Tori 2+. That said, it’s still fundamentally the same game you played on the Wii U or PS4. If you’ve already beaten the game, there won’t be much to bring you back unless you’re a serious fan. It still contains the crisp yet painfully simplistic visual style. Those uninterested by it five years ago won’t be swayed by the improvements made to the Switch version.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Toki Tori 2+ was provided by Two Tribes.