After years of waiting, Toki Tori 2+ is finally available on PC. It is everything that you would expect it to be and more. The graphics are true to the original game in both charm and overly large amounts of cuteness. I will go ahead and throw this out there now, if you liked the original Toki Tori then it would be positively criminal for you not to go out and buy this game if you haven’t already. This game is brought to us by Two Tribes, the same developers as the original Toki Tori, but also the more recent indie titles Edge and Swords & Soldiers.
Toki Tori 2+ has a very interesting mechanic for teaching you how to play the game, which is that it doesn’t. At the beginning you are given a screen that shows you what buttons do what and then you are given the freedom to go to town. This sounds like a bad thing but it isn’t. The game has a natural flow to it that just works. There is actually not a single written word in the entire game aside from the opening logo and the pause menu.
The story is very simple (even when compared to the gold standard set by Mario of ‘hero rescues the princess’), all that you know is that some type of black goo (a very nonchalant jab at modern oil issues) is wrecking your pretty cartoon island. Acquiring floating collectibles and using them to activate magical statues somehow fixes it, and you, Toki Tori, must go forth and save it through the powers of over resounding cuteness and simple controls.
There are a few moments where text in the game may have come in handy, such as in flushing out that gold standard of a story mentioned earlier. The game relies exclusively on the player’s noggin to figure out its finer points, and the UI could have been made a little clearer in that endeavor. However, it is not a major issue because the gameplay is simplistic. The only controls in the game are moving left to right, going up and down ladders, stomping, whistling, and flapping down from heights. Every puzzle in the game is built around these simple controls, so if you are stuck in a particular area, it is not because you don’t have the ability you need, it is because you haven’t figured the solution out yet. What is really impressive is how you have to use these simple controls to manipulate the environment around you. The first thing you learn in this vein is to stomp to get a frog to eat a bug, whistle to get the frog’s attention and therefore pointed in the right direction, then stomp again so it will burp a bubble which can then be ridden in to get to high place.
It is worth noting that some of the early puzzles in the game don’t really make you feel all that clever as there were a few times that I solved something by accident as opposed to executing an idea that I had. This phenomenon is limited to early game though as the later levels will really start to test your noodle.
The world is separated through an over world map that shows the various pathways between levels. It has a ‘Metroidvania’-style of backtracking through previous levels. Everything is solvable from the beginning (which may limit replay value) as you don’t gain any new abilities or items throughout your adventure. Instead, it is knowledge on how to interact with the world that you gain, and thus aids you in gaining missed collectibles. It is a fun and satisfying experience to gain a new collectible that you couldn’t reach before because of new knowledge gained. The graphics are a visual treat and the main character is so cute it makes you just want to go out and hug something fluffy.
Overall, this game is one that you should buy because it is fun and it is decently priced as well. If you are craving a decent puzzler with a main character who is a baby chicken and just looking at him will make you go aww, then this game is for you.