Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker’s Super Mario Odyssey levels are a perfect fit

More Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is always a good thing. These puzzles, inspired by the challenges in Super Mario 3D World, give us a look at a cube filled with activity and make us consider what is happening in its depths, while also discerning the best possible paths for Captain Toad to follow. The Wii U game was a delight, but the Super Mario Odyssey levels in the 3DS and Switch ports of the game show an additional sense of refinement, understanding and playfulness. They remain something to be savored.

The Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker levels based upon Super Mario Odyssey are supplemental. They are a part of a bonus episode called Super Mario Odyssey Kingdoms. Each one seems like a segment cut specifically from one of four kingdoms in that game, placed in this new version for our appreciation and dissection. There’s the Sand Kingdom’s Secret of the Inverted Pyramid, the Cascade Kingdom’s Mine Cart Cascade Crusade, Metro Kingdom’s Uptown, Downtown and finally Luncheon Kingdom’s Cookateil’s Sizzling Sprint.

Consider Secret of the Inverted Pyramid, one of the Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker marvels. It perfectly captures everything we know about the kingdom, both above and below. The Inverted Pyramid, its hallmark, is the main attraction, though the notable ruins also appear. If you head underground, you see the icier underground section. Flipping a switch elevates the pyramid and changes the setting from day to night. It is only then that, with the help of quick movement, you can acquire that area’s moon. It is complicated, filled with many steps. It references multiple areas in the actual game. It even has the same enemies as the actual stage.

Mine Cart Cascade Crusade is one that makes you think outside of the box. It plays almost like a level from Pokemon Snap. Except instead of taking pictures, you ride a minecart through Cascade Kingdom, tossing turnips from your cart at enemies, gems and environmental hazards as you attempt to reach that moon. Again, it offers another perspective of a familiar Super Mario Odyssey. At the same time, it provides another sort of adventure for Captain Toad as a break between two more traditional levels.

With Uptown, Downtown, it feels like Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker really appreciates and takes advantage of the verticality of he area. We see him constantly finding new ways to climb through New Donk City, all while avoiding the hammer brothers constantly harassing him. We also get to appreciate the space inside of buildings, since some allow us to venture inside to continue moving. When we get to the sewers, we have an opportunity to bring light and life back to the city.

It all ends with a callback to one of Super Mario Odyssey’s boss battles. Captain Toad finds himself chased by the Cookatiel. The avian chef is chucking durians at Captain Toad, who is running along a path with twists, turns and sometimes not always evident sections of the road. While you still have gems and coins to collect, it comes down to avoiding the Luncheon Kingdom’s established hazards and thinking on your feet. It is a different sort of trial than the others in this bonus episode, but still highlighting how resourceful Captain Toad needs to be.

The Super Mario Odyssey levels in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker are a delight. They offer us more about what was good in the original version of the game, by giving us two more traditional levels that require a substantial amount of thought to solves and two more unconventional levels that rely on fast reaction times and skillful movements. They perfectly callback to and cite the Super Mario Odyssey’s kingdoms. They are a welcome inclusion and fans of both games will hopefully appreciate them.

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