Don’t let the cuteness fool you, Toki Tori is a smart puzzler with lots of charm.
The original Toki Tori making its way to the Switch isn’t much of a surprise, as Toki Tori 2 has already been released on the system. This is definitely a good thing, as the original is just as good as the sequel. With its charming aesthetic and clever puzzles, Toki Tori is a wonderful reimagining of the original Game Boy Color release, constantly testing my brain in the best ways imaginable.
Toki Tori casts you as the titular character, a cute bird whose goal is to rescue his siblings, still trapped in their eggs. He has a ton of family, as his siblings are strewn across four different worlds. In addition to the 10 levels you’ll encounter in each world, there are a number of bonus levels and a set of more difficult levels you can clear once you clear enough stages in the main game.
At first, Toki Tori will walk you through the mechanics. The catch is that despite being a bird, he can’t fly or jump. What he does have are a number of tools that can help him reach his siblings, including an ice gun that freezes enemies and a tool that forms bridges between gaps. In some levels, you only get to use one of these tools a set amount of times, meaning you need to make every move count.
The look and feel of Toki Tori is cute enough that it hides that it can be frustrating at times to try to clear a level that, on the surface, should be easy to clear. but I like the balance between being clever but also tough at the same time. Toki Tori never felt difficult in a bad way -- if you get really stuck, there's a rewind feature that's really nifty and a “wildcard” option where you can skip a level and go to the next one. Great features to have for a game that can definitely test your wits.
Presentation wise, Toki Tori is excellent. It runs at 60 fps and runs smoothly; it looks great on a big screen. Each world is colorful and vibrant, keeping the world’s charm consistent as you progress throughout. The music is also fun to listen to and fits in with the overall vibe. You really can’t tell that this once used to be a Game Boy Color title -- it feels like a brand new experience.
Toki Tori is a fun, engaging puzzler that is sure to enthuse anyone who is a fan of the genre. It can be tough at times, but it’s the good kind of tough, a challenge that feels rewarding once you complete it. It also requires perfection in some levels, which can be a bit frustrating, but no level is ever too tough and there are ways to help alleviate frustration. With its clever puzzles and fun aesthetic, Toki Tori is definitely worth the challenge.