Rarely does a sequel take the original game, completely reimagine the mechanics and actually work. Not only work, but better the first iteration. Toki Tori is back and he’s forgotten how to use items and abilities from the first game. Now, all Toki Tori can do is whistle and stomp on the ground with all his might. Each action alters the way the levels play or interacts differently with creatures throughout. You might stomp the ground to change the direction an enemy is facing. Whistle making them face you.
Stomp beneath a plant for it to drop a seed or to cause a bug to fall from the ceiling above; whistle for the frogs to turn and eat the bug which fills them with air. Then, all it takes is another stomp, right next to the frog, for it to spit out an air bubble which envelopes Toki Tori and carries him a certain distance before it pops. These mechanics also work with the birds in the area, causing them to swoop down and collect items that Toki Tori needs moving to a new area.
The game is still linear, like the first, but in Toki Tori 2 there are no worlds which hold a certain number of self contained levels. Here, the game resembles more of a platformer with sections that scale vertically as well as horizontally. Of course, the little bird still can’t jump, moving him from place to place all comes from the environment and it’s more charming than ever. New creatures litter the world and all have small quirks that cause smiles and frustrations in equal measure and these, of course, change as Toki Tori travels into new biomes.
Much like the first game, so much has already been said about the series, but it’s worth noting that this iteration is made more accessible and enjoyable by playing on Switch. In handheld and docked mode, the game looks bright and colourful. I chose to play in the former mode more often, for odd snatches of gameplay when I wanted to fill ten minutes. Toki Tori 2 is a perfect little game for playing over time not only because of the format, but because it’s practically impossible to forget how it plays and how Toki Tori moves. It’s easily a must buy for the system if you want a puzzle game to fill your time.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by Two Tribes Publishing