My wife and I were drawn to the Wii U back when it was still a thing that existed on store shelves. I can remember listening to episodes of the Idle Thumbs podcast and hearing them discuss games on the system and feeling like it was a really interesting piece of hardware that could offer some unique experiences. Yet, by the time the list of actual games we wanted to buy seemed to justify the purchase, the Switch had already been announced. And thus, we were a household who the Wii U was definitely for, but only added to the low sales that ultimately killed the console prematurely.
One game that neither of us seemed to notice back then was Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. I'll be honest, I didn't know much about this game was until it was re-released on the Switch. But the nice thing about collecting for the Wii U now is that we can get this sort of history lesson when the games are super cheap. There were definitely reasons why we might choose to get the game on 3DS (when my wife games alone, it's always on her 3DS) or Switch (the added co-op mode), but I've been in a bit of a Wii U collecting phase lately, and something about that original (cheaper) version of the game felt appealing in that it was the original release, and I've been having a blast exploring the Wii U catalog to see all the innovations we missed out on at the time.
It turns out that this was a good call. The game works great on the gamepad for one thing. And it's neat how what's displayed on the gamepad isn't always what's on the TV, so playing the game together by passing the gamepad back and forth between runs still feels unique.
Just a few months back I had played Super Mario 3D World, so I was at least a bit familiar with how the game worked from those mini-levels. Truth told, I enjoyed the Toad levels more than the 3D World game proper.
If you haven't played it, Captain Toad is a sort of 3D action/adventure thing where you can rotate the entire level in any direction. This allows you to kind of solve puzzles as you see fit, and also uncover secrets obstructed by the environment. Toad can't jump. He can't really do anything to be honest. But somehow this turns into a really compelling little puzzle adventure.
We're having a lot of fun with it. The ultimate goal of each level is simply to reach the star somehow. But there are secondary goals... one is to find three hidden jewels in each level, and the other thing is a bigger challenge that's unique to each level. One might be to get through the level without destroying a certain bridge, another might be to get through without letting any Shy Guys detect you. So yeah, some are much harder than others.
However, this makes the game an excellent co-op pass-the-controller game. My wife might attempt to just make it through and find the jewels (she's a definite collect-everything gamer, which I am not) and I might then attempt the more difficult challenge - some are fun, and others... well, I hate stealth so I'm not doing that Shy Guy one.
Anyway, we played I guess ten levels and beat the first major boss battle and we are having a total blast. This is a really great game and we'll definitely be spending more time with it when we can.