Heed our advice and make some [mush]room in your life for the Switch gem that needs to be unearthed, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. It’s the criminally-underplayed WiiU puzzler from 2014 that’s been reborn as a perfect fit for the best handheld machine going. These are the indisputable facts of the matter. Consider yourself toad.
What we have here is a perfect collection of commute-killing, bite-sized adventures – you’ll enter mini diorama worlds as the titular tracker and then do your best to loot and scoot. Slight complication: the good Captain cannot jump due to an over-encumbered backpack (trust us, a kleptomaniac playing Skyrim would have a lighter load). You’re just gonna need to make smart use of elevator platforms that can be shifted via the touch-screen. Meanwhile, butt-stomp self-defence has been replaced with turnip throwing.
Turnip for What?
Nintendo Switch owners who persevere will be rewarded with our subject of the day: four post-credits bonus levels, themed on the system-selling modern classic that is Super Mario Odyssey. Our aim is to give you a short introduction of each level here – a tourist’s guide if you will. We’ll not deprive you of the joy of sniffing out the Super Gems. That said, each entry is going to mention the “special requirement” challenge that the game reveals after you finish the level once (which is an annoying way of doing things, Nintendo).
Secret of the Inverted Pyramid
This level, based on the Sand Kingdom of Super Mario Odyssey, is all about Bullet Bills, ice cavern sub-levels and hidden passageways that are subtly chiseled into those elevator blocks. Classic Mario mechanics are very much in vogue here, like moving platforms and bricks that can be “nudged” with your pointer for free coins. We’d also recommend you rip up a turnip and keep it handy. There are slightly-off-map items that may only be acquired with a skilful vegetable lob.
What’s the coolest thing about the Pyramid level? The way it fools you into thinking you’re free. Once yanked, an exit lever cleverly shifts the entire level (think: geometry and time of day both). Hindered by the darkness of night, you’ll need to dig into the bowels of the level and run an absolute gauntlet of Bullet Bills before snagging the green Power Moon for victory.
Special requirement for red stamp completion: find the Gold Mushroom.
Mine Cart Cascade Crusade
Every once in a while Treasure Tracker will throw a mine cart level at you. Basically, you’re dropped into first-person view as your little bucket shuffles along on a linear pathway (it’s literally an on-rails experience). This level based on the Cascade Kingdom is no different – you hitch a ride past triceratops fossils and do your very best to concuss enemies with pinged turnips.
There are no real curveballs (curve-turnips?) to this level. Expect to dutifully snipe Para-Biddybuds as they swoop in at you while you’re doing your best to line up POW blocks for maximum coinage. You should also keep your eye out for shootable terrain that can cause avalanche paths into collectibles.
Special requirement for red stamp completion: Collect 320 coins.
Uptown, Downtown is rooted in the Metro Kingdom of Super Mario Odyssey, specifically New Donk City. You’ve got a multi-level mini version of the city to scarper through and the forecast for today is a 100% chance of showers from hammers, bro (because Hammer Bros).
This is the biggest offering of the bunch and easily the pick of the level litter. Girder platforming antics (with a dash of cat-and-mouse with MC Hammer) shall give way to sewer jaunts as you’re being stalked by Piranha Creepers. We’re not sure what’s better: the moment where you turn tables on your harassers with a Super Pickaxe power-up or just the sultry sound of the New Donk City theme tune.
Special requirement for red stamp completion: Defeat all enemies.
Cookatiel’s Sizzling Sprint
Last but not least, this bonus level feast is rounded off with a well-packed snack from the Luncheon Kingdom. You’re on the back-foot right away, however, thanks to a rising tide of purple stuff and the constant annoyance that is Cookatiel. It’s an amateur avian chef who wants nothing more than to offer you a side order of regurgitated spiny melons (extra freshly regurgitated). Yum!
To make matters even more sticky, you’ll start the level with the multi-Toad power-up active. Slaloming yourself and three clone minions through melon mortars, plus an array of nasty traps, isn’t easy. Unfortunately, if you want to nab the 100% red rubber stamp, nothing but perfection will do. Four Toads need to cross that finish line alive. Best of luck with that…
Special requirement for red stamp completion: Clear course with four characters.