Two puzzle-platformers for Wii U.
Toki Tori 2
Two years ago, I took an early look at Toki Tori 2, a puzzle-adventure game developed by Two Tribes. The game has since been upgraded to Toki Tori 2+, which features several new puzzles alongside a few bonus features. The game itself was released in 2013 after being in development for over two years, and was met with notably lower than expected sales numbers.
Toki Tori 2+ plays very different from its predecessor (which is also available for download on the Wii U eShop) in that instead of trying to complete individual puzzle rooms, the game takes place in a rather large open world. No longer is our titular chick equipped with his iconic ice blaster and teleportation abilities, but instead his powers are relegated to two simple button presses that correspond to basic actions: stomp and whistle. Depending on which action you perform, the environment will react in several different ways (for example, stomping will scare away hermit crabs that can also be used a platforms, while whistling can attract fireflies to help you see in the dark). The game’s many puzzles revolve around these two concepts, some of which use both in tandem that require rather large and complex solutions.
This streamlined approach to Toki Tori 2 may not have been the best approach for a Toki Tori sequel. Although the game is very clever when it comes to its world and puzzle design, the game just is not all that exciting to play. In the original game, fast reflexes and perfect timing were required to complete each puzzle while avoiding the many obstacles that may get in your way. In Toki Tori 2, you can really go about and complete the game at your own leisure. This lack of urgency comes at the detriment to the game and as a result Toki Tori 2 feels much more of a slog than the original.
Overall, Toki Tori 2+ is missing the special something that made the first game so great. There is limited appeal to the slow-paced puzzle-solving nature of the game and it does too little to keep the player engaged. That said, there is certainly much to do in Toki Tori 2+ and so anyone looking for a quirky little puzzle game may find this title to be somewhat interesting.
Toki Tori 2+ is available for download on the Wii U eShop for $14.99.
Trine 2: Director’s Cut
One of the benefits of doing a weeklong feature like this is that it provides an opportunity for me to return to some older titles and reevaluate my initial thoughts on them. Trine 2 is one of these games. When I first took a look at this game in 2012, I initially compared it to the first Trine game (which I had mixed feelings about) and spoke generally positively on my experience with the sequel. Since then, my opinions had changed as the levels grew more and more complex, and the few issues I had with Trine were only amplified in Trine 2. I eventually gave it up and moved on to something.
Just recently, I decided to go back and give the game a second chance. I am glad I did.
Trine 2 is a 2D puzzle platform game that was first released in 2011. It follows the story of three young heroes as they follow the mysterious Trine on a quest to save the kingdom. The Wii U version of Trine 2, titled “Trine 2: Director’s Cut,” debuted with the launch of the console alongside four other indie games, including Little Inferno.
Gameplay in Trine 2 involves the use of all three characters, which players can swap in and out on demand. Each character has their own unique abilities – the wizard Amadeus can conjure objects to use as platforms, the knight Pontius specializes in the sword and shield, and the thief Zoya possesses a bow and arrow as well as a grappling hook that can attach to some surfaces. To succeed in this game, players must master each character and, in some cases, use them in conjunction with each other.
The first thing you will notice about Trine 2 is that it looks very… colorful. I personally am not sure how much I like the game’s art style (everything is so shiny) but it certainly is unique and intriguing. The game also does a good job in providing some visual variety within each stage, which admittedly makes me want to explore every nook and cranny – and good thing too, because the game is very good at hiding collectibles everywhere. I guess if you want to send your players on a treasure hunt, you might as well make it interesting.
The issues I had in the original Trine are still present in Trine 2. The platforming still annoys me; it is far too floaty and imprecise, which can be frustrating when tackling the game’s many tricky platforming sections. The characters move rather slowly as well, and even after hours of play I still find myself missing jumps that I thought I could make.
Still, Trine 2 is fun enough for me to give a general recommendation to anyone who is fond of the genre. The controls will obviously take time to get used to, but otherwise this game is a great puzzle platform game that is certainly worth looking into.
Trine 2: Director’s Cut is available for download on the Wii U eShop for $7.99.