Toki Tori

Review - an oddball Dutch platformer for the GBC which proves to be surprisingly good

Chick Chick Chick Chick Chicken

Capcom picked up Toki Tori from Netherlands-based Two Tribes at a time when the company could have been forgiven for abandoning the ageing GameBoy Color format altogether. Instead they have released what turns out to be a surprisingly entertaining and deceptively cute little platform puzzler. This is a genre which rarely involves any kind of complex plot content to trouble your mind with, and Toki Tori is no exception. For some unexplained reason, an unknown force has abducted all the eggs on a chicken farm. Only one egg remained, containing Toki, who hatched just in time to see his brothers and sisters flying off into the distance. He followed them until they all dropped inside a castle, which then proceeded to fling them all over the place. So it's your goal as Toki to find all the eggs and discover the force behind this nonsense. This incomprehensible mission leads Toki across a massive sixty levels, spanning four seperate lands. And while the developers could have settled with just serving up a mediocre platform adventure, instead they have injected a fiendish puzzle element into the proceedings.

Lay A Little Egg For Me

Progression through each level involves the use of Toki's ever expanding set of skills, which can result in anything from the construction of a small bridge to teleporting you a short distance across the level. Without his tools Toki is a pretty useless chicken; he can waddle, waddle a bit faster with a double-tap on the D-pad, climb ladders and fall as far as you like, and he can jump a miniscule amount. One other skill that you find yourself using constantly is the ability to scroll around the entire level layout, which allows you to plan your approach before you set out. The design of each level is relentlessly crafty and at times completely unforgiving, especially once you get past the initial training stages. The game rarely relies on throwing a torrent of beasties at you to throw you off course though; instead the creatures are integral to the puzzle, along with the placement of each egg, and any beasts that you do come across can be dispatched by firing a freeze gun at them, turning them into a block of ice. Success is usually a case of trial and error as you stumble about each carefully constructed level, and you can be sure of screwing up at least once on each. The challenges you come across are often infuriatingly difficult, and you will probably find yourself having to reset the level over and over again. Strangely though, you don't find yourself simply switching off your GameBoy, throwing it out of the window or grinding it under your foot. Rather you persevere and just keep trying, and that's where Toki Tori's success lies - it's just so compelling.

Conclusion

A cutesy platform puzzler with an evil learning curve that bends at a 90-degree angle makes Toki Tori quite a shock to the system at first. Blending this with well-animated and colourful characters, devious level design and a charming soundtrack make Toki Tori an entertaining and challenging addition to any mobile gaming collection though.

8 / 10

Read the Eurogamer.net review policy Toki Tori Martin Taylor Review - an oddball Dutch platformer for the GBC which proves to be surprisingly good 2002-03-17T17:49:00+00:00 8 10

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