Toki Tori 2+ – PC
Publisher: Two Tribes
Developer: Two Tribes
Release Date: Jul 11, 2013
Genre: Puzzle, Platformer
Reviewed by Mark Smith
Review Score: 5 of 5
Toki Tori is one of the first game I ever downloaded for my iPhone 3G and somehow that app has managed to survive three generations of devices, as it still resides on my current iPhone 5 and my iPad. There is something incredibly charming and addictive about this game that I simply can’t delete it, so I was very excited when Toki Tori 2+ was announced for the PC; especially since I had to pass on doing the review earlier this year when it released on the Wii U.
Toki Tori 2+ is a visual feast for the eyes; the epitome of charming simplistic gameplay and saccharine art design that will appeal to the entire family, but lurking beneath its Easter egg hunt exterior is a surprisingly sinister and downright challenging puzzle game that unsuspectingly lures you in and slams the door shut behind you.
You play the insufferably cute yellow bird that must stomp and tweet his way through increasingly challenging levels as you navigate treacherous obstacles trying to save your world from a mysterious black goo. There is a steady but steep progression of difficulty with the puzzles and the level design, but most of the challenge lies in the simple fact that you often have no idea what to do. There are not tips, hints, or tutorials, so learning even the basics becomes your first puzzle.
With only movement and two actions much of the challenge comes from your limitations rather than your abilities. You can’t jump and you can’t climb any step or ledge higher than yourself, so you have to figure out how to manipulate the environment and the creatures in it to do your bidding and get the job done. As you get deeper into the game you will learn new songs comprised of high and low notes that you play by tapping or holding the tweet button. These songs will grant new abilities and one song will even take a screenshot.
I loved the almost open-world feel to the game as I explored the entire island, and the generous checkpoint system means you’ll never have to replay a section or puzzle twice. Some puzzles even allow you to checkpoint in mid-solve. The fact that you are not locked into one path means that if one puzzles proves too difficult at the time you can always explore somewhere else and return later.
Once you reach your stride you’ll be meeting new creatures and learning how they can aid in your cause. This leads to deeper puzzles and even more challenging level design as you leave the sunny colorful exterior world and plunge into the depths and darkness where you’ll encounter the most difficult puzzles. There are loads of hidden extras and bonuses and you are encouraged to explore with some surprising non-linearity that can make Toki Tori 2+ last upwards of 20 hours or more.
And with some of the best community support via the Steam Workshop, the fun is only getting started once you complete the core game. Using intuitive tools it has never been easier to create and share your own levels or download others. The in-game menu allows for easy subscription and instant access to hundreds of new and original level designs loaded with puzzles and exploration. You’ll probably want to use a mouse and keyboard when creating new levels, but the game plays perfectly fine with an Xbox 360 gamepad.
Toki Tori 2+ is easily one of the best puzzle-platformers currently available for the PC. Two Tribes has done a great job of creating something extremely challenging while keeping it approachable for gamers of all ages and skills and never letting it get frustrating. The art is charming, the music and sounds delightful, and the gameplay as fresh as a summer breeze.