I’m the kind of gamer that has a console for every type of game. My PS3 is for shooters, my Xbox 360 is for sports, and my Wii is for anything that could be considered cute; while brand leveraging forces me to cross-over once in a while—Halo, hello!—it’s not something I do on purpose, but Toki Tori just might change my position on that. OCD be damned.
The gist of Toki Tori is deceptively old-school platformer at first. You are a chicken with very limited physical skills. Can’t jump. Can’t fly. Generally a feeb. Your mission is to free your unhatched friends while avoiding an onslaught of deadly cute-chicken-hating obstacles, using an array of limited aids like portable bridges, teleporters, and much more.
The initial gameplay levels of Toki Tori are the epitome of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. While graphically superior to the era, Toki Tori has the look of an a-typical 16 bit platformer and if you’ve served your sentence in Castlevania, Donkey Kong, and Mario Brothers you might have to fight off the reflex to turn Toki Tori off and move on to something a little more, contemporary. However, you’ll be glad you didn’t.
While Toki Tori at first comes off as an uninventive and frustrating limited platform piece, sticking with the game reveals a landscape of challenging puzzles and a seemingly endless array of ‘powers’ that must be sorted through in order to advance from one level to another. If you don’t like platformers at all, there is a 3D mode that adds even more spatial challenges to the fun. The heart of the game is definitely not in the visuals but in the never ending stimulation of puzzles and the sense of exhilarated accomplishment that comes with `whoopin each levels increasingly complicated brain twisters.
Gamers addicted to gritty visuals and bodies hitting the floor probably won’t value Toki Tori in their collection, but might be surprised by the level of fun and sense of accomplishment this gem holds. If you are crossing over from Wii to see how the PS3 handles Toki, you’ll be surprised by the addition of the 3D visuals and the accuracy of PS3’s Move integration.
What We Liked
Forces you to think
What We Didn't
Steep learning curve
Can get boring at times
Toki Tori’s biggest downfall might be in its first-impression factor. I could hardly blame any gamer who pulled the plug after level one or two and balked at the apparent simplicity of the game; but rest assured: give Toki Tori a chance and you’ll find an addictive and rewarding gameplay experience awaits. With chickens.