Toki Tori was originally released in 2001 on the dying Game Boy Color system. While it didn’t see much success on the platform, mostly due to the growing popularity of the Game Boy Advance, it was a fun little platformer with unique charm, and those who played it seemed to really enjoy it.
Fast forward to 2010 and Toki Tori is back, this time invading Steam and offering up the same puzzling gameplay fans of the original release will love. You might have already played the game on your iPhone or your Wii, as it was released in 2009 for these platforms. However, the new release on Steam brings 31 achievements into the mix, along with Steam cloud and controller support.
The gameplay of Toki Tori has remained fundamentally the same since its initial release on the Game Boy Color. It’s a blend of two classic genres and it does the blend well, offering both platformer-style gameplay wrapped around a puzzler. Fans of the original won’t be disappointed, and those new to the game will find the graphics charming and the puzzles absolutely devious.
There’s nothing new story-wise in Toki Tori, as the goal is still to collect every single egg on the current stage. However, the updated graphics and new challenges that you’ll face breathe new life into an old series, which remains just as good, if not better than, its Game Boy predecessor. There are four different zones to traverse and over 80 different stages, with the possibility to unlock bonus areas as you complete each zone. You’ll have a wide variety of tools at your disposal, with some of them remaining zone-specific, such as the Ghost Trap or the Freeze-O-Matic.
The real beauty of Toki Tori is not that you have these tools to solve the level, but that you have a limited number of uses and must apply them accordingly. With a certain number of bridges and teleports available to you, you must make use of them where they count in order to solve the level, which means you’ll have to be pretty crafty in some of the later levels.
While the game is divided up into four distinct zones, the puzzle variety also reflects these changes and how your tools work. You’ll be able to use the Freeze-O-Matic on both Forest Falls and Bubble Barrage, but because Bubble Barrage is underwater, frozen enemies will rise to the top of the stage, presenting new challenges using an old technique. This remix of gameplay helps to keep the game fresh, and with each zone divided up into Normal and Hard areas, you’ll never have a lack of stages to complete that challenge you.
If you find a stage is too challenging, you have the ability to use your wild card and pass that stage to move on. This is an infinitely valuable feature for those who are frustrated easily, as it doesn’t leave you stuck in an area and unable to continue. If you want to go back and try to beat the stage, you can reclaim your wild card for use elsewhere.
Toki Tori‘s graphics have received a complete overhaul from it’s original version, with high definition making for an absolutely gorgeous puzzling adventure. The worlds are crisp and colorful, and its easy to distinguish between everything on-screen, which makes it a pleasure to traverse the many different stages.
One of the bright sides of Toki Tori is that all of the gameplay elements are explained early on, which means you won’t be working through later levels struggling to determine what certain aspects of your tool inventory you should use. As many puzzle games divert to a trial and error sort of play, which can become frustrating after a long period, having a game where elements are clearly defined is a breath of fresh air in the genre.
Overall, Toki Tori is an absolutely brilliant puzzler with great graphics and even greater puzzles to solve. The added bonus of achievements and Steam cloud support make this an essential purchase for any puzzle gamer, and at the low price of $4.99 USD, there’s no reason for Toki Tori not to be in your list of Steam games.
Gamer Limit gives Toki Tori for the PC a 9/10.