Two Tribes’ Toki Tori was originally hatched on Nintendo’s Game Boy Color in 2001, and since then has been found nesting on WiiWare, PC and Apple devices. A full-on sequel, Toki Tori 2, has recently been announced for numerous platforms, but in the meantime a HD remake of the original has landed on PlayStation Network.
Toki Tori’s sole quest is to gather the hundreds of lost eggs that are dotted around forests, castles, sewers and seas, avoiding enemies and utilising various tools to create pathways to reach them. Bridges can be built across gaps, blocks can be thrown or grown and the titular chicken can even don a bubble suit to navigate underwater realms. At other times the fight can be taken directly to foes with freeze rays, trap doors and invertebrate-eating vacuum cleaners. The difficult part is in knowing when to use them; often there are only a limited number of uses for each item per stage, and throwing them around without care will only result in failure.
Here Toki Tori is aided by the superb PlayStation Move controls that have been integrated into this new version of the popular poultry puzzle platformer. The would-be rooster is roused into a run with a simple point and click wherever you need him to go, and any tools are activated in a similar fashion. Edge the challenged chicken along to the exact position necessary, select the desired tool from the box along the bottom of the screen, then point in the direction you want to use the item and tap T.
Though the first couple of its four worlds fall by the wayside very quickly, Toki Tori is not a game to be underestimated. It acts all user friendly and eases players in gently, but the second half of Two Tribes’ title is more than willing to clip players’ wings with some devilishly tough stages that will leave your brain deep-fried. While earlier you may have room to make a few mistakes, later stages require your full thought to crack, any errors seized upon swiftly. Despite its difficulty, Toki Tori is one of those titles that always makes complete sense when you have bested its tests, making you feel like an absolute genius in the process.
Toki Tori fights off frustration in a number of ways, thankfully. There’s a rewind button that can be used at any time to reverse any decisions right back to the level’s very first steps, which is especially handy if you’ve just clicked the wrong place to run and found yourself stuck down an insurmountable pit. Fail a stage by running beak first into an enemy and there’s the option to either try again from the very beginning or rewind time just far back enough to attempt to change fate.
For those times when the standard stages are leaving you more than a little bird brained, there’s also the chance to step back and relax in an easy mode that has been specifically added to broaden the game’s appeal. It does what it says on the tin - it’s incredibly uncomplicated in comparison to the normal difficulty - and is a great, accessible entry point into the game for those that are really struggling or are just new to the concept in general.
If the thought of extra tutorials and taking it slow puts you in a flap that only something a little more hard-boiled can help, worry not. As well as the 48 original levels, a few dozen hard and bonus stages are waiting to cause calls of fowl play. Just as the easy mode truly is a doddle, the extra maps offered are enough to hen peck even the smartest player; they’ll have you clicking and clucking for hours.
The latest remake of Toki Tori — and what is likely to be the last, with the sequel upcoming — is the definitive version of the platform puzzler, featuring hours and hours of content that will have players of any ability level spitting feathers in the best way possible. That it’s presented in such a charming little package of infectious music and coops of cute is just the icing on the cake.