Review by Homesrfan
"A great puzzle game and a great value!"
Toki Tori is one of the first title to hit Nintendo's online downloadable content service, WiiWare. That said, if games of this quality are to be expected out of WiiWare, we are in for a great service!
Toki Tori really gives you no explanation of what you are doing at the beginning of the game. You are thrown into a forest-type level and you are given a short explanation of what to do and how to do it. In this game, you play a chicken who must collect eggs. This may seem as like a simple task, but for some reason - the environments Toki Tori must explore are quite tricky. Using your brain, and a few weapons that the game introduces you one-by-one as you play, you must conquer these levels and find a way to collect all the eggs before you get stuck or killed by an enemy. Not only do you get a few weapons on each level, but each weapon is usually only available to use for a few uses and then Toki Tori can't use them anymore. It really does get quite involved. The game starts out easy but the difficulty ramps up extremely quickly. I've scratched my head in confusion more than a few times with this game. Really, each weapon introduces a new mechanic to beating a level and makes you think of how to get past each level in a new way.
You'll probably find yourself running through a bit of trial and error. My method to figuring out the levels was take the most obvious path, find where I get stuck, pause the game to look at the whole level, and then figure out a way to get past where I got stuck. It worked pretty well, but in the event that you do get stuck, you can use a Wild Card. A wild card can be used if you get stuck on a level. You use the wild card and you are able to skip the level, but because you used the card, you can't use it again. To get the card back you have to complete the level that you used the card in. It's a helpful tool so that you don't get too stuck on a specific level.
The game is playable by using three control methods: classic controller, wiimote, and wiimote (pointer) and nunchuck together. It's a shame that the developers didn't include a sideways Wiimote setup, but the control schemes given work just fine. I prefer the wiimote and nunchuck, as you can move Toki Tori with the thumb stick or you can point at the screen to move the little chicken to where ever you want, very quickly.
The graphical style of this game is not hampered by being a small downloadable game. Toki Tori and many aspects are the environment and enemies are all prerendered with static, apparently hand-drawn backgrounds. It's definitely easy on the eyes and the bright colors and cute designs are appreciated. Even the music is great as well. Catchy tunes will play throughout the entire game as your mind tries to figure out these sometimes seemingly impossible puzzles.
The game is certainly not short either. When comparing it to LostWinds, a game of the same price in North America on WiiWare, you can get many more hours out of this game, especially in the later levels. Toki Tori will also send you cute little postcards to your Wii Message Board, informing you of his travels. It's a nice little extra. The 1000 points (or 900 points for European readers) is definitely justified by how much time the developers obviously put in this well-made puzzle game.
In the end, Toki Tori comes out a solid game for WiiWare. There are so many great points of the game, that it's hard not to recommend this game to everyone, especially puzzle fans. I feel like the game did have some flaws. I felt that Toki Tori was just so cute but there was little personality to the little guy. It would have been nice to have some cutscenes or something extra to break up the pure gameplay. Also, I think the game would have benefited from a hint system of some sort. The game has a 'wildcard' system in which you use a wildcard for a level and you can pass that level. To get it back, though, you must beat that level and then you can use the card again. The system is nice, but I was often stuck on harder levels and had to use an online guide, unfortunately. The problem was, I didn't want the answer to be handed to me, but a point in the right direction would have been helpful. Even with these small flaws, this game is fantastic. It's one of the best 1000 points that you can spend on WiiWare.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/11/08
Game Release: Toki Tori (US, 06/02/08)
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