Toki Tori has been riding a wave of hype since its announcement in February, and rightly so. As an award-winning Wii and Game Boy Color platformer, excitement is certainly justified as the title chicken waddles its way to the App Store. In this case, the port lives up to its expectations in an adventure that actually feels native on the platform.
A classic example of the chicken or the egg…
Toki Tori asks you to guide the title chicken around levels collecting eggs, opening a portal that takes him onward upon completion of each level. While the game may be a port, it is still ranks as one of the best puzzle platformers on the iPhone. Much like the Bobby Carrot series, its adorable style is deceiving when it comes down to difficulty. After a brief tutorial, you are confronted mind-boggling puzzles, forcing even the best of players to think outside the box. Harder puzzles also are available separate from the story levels.
Toki Tori’s wide array of skills make up the core of the puzzles. These include building bridges, teleporting out of a tight spot and placing ‘Instant Rocks’, which expand where you place them. Each of the game’s four distinct worlds–Forest Falls, Creepy Castle, Slimy Sewer and Bubble Barrage–also have their own unique mechanic. For example, Bubble Barrage gives you a ‘Bubble Suit’ so you can swim underwater and Creepy Castle has you setting traps in stone floors for ghosts.
In a typical puzzle in the game, the player must use a limited number of skills carefully with a thorough plan of action. The layout of a puzzle primarily consists of enemies, traps, eggs, platforms and ladders. During the first few worlds, levels are fairly straightforward, utilizing skills in practical ways with little chance of running out. In later levels of the game, one misstep or an incorrectly used skill could have you tumbling into a deadly enemy or an inescapable pit. It’s can be aggravating, but in a good way. It’s the kind of game that reaps incredible satisfaction when you solve a tough puzzle.
The game’s simple control scheme works like a charm. Moving Toki Tori around is as easy as tapping where you want him to go. You can also zoom out to view the entire level and scroll around by using two fingers. A skill bar, which you can place on either the right or left side of the screen, displays any available skills for Toki Tori, as well as the pause button. Touching a skill allows you to use it.
Intimidated? You chicken?
Toki Tori also looks exceptional with graphics as polished as the Wii version. Plus, the game is loaded with personality. For example, if you do not do anything for a period of time, Toki Tori will follow suit and perform an entertaining action, such as looking around with binoculars or reading his plans for ‘bridge building’. After completing a level, he does a little jig before jumping into the portal. Even the game’s loading screens, which depict Toki Tori in his respective location, bring out his silly personality.
The biggest issue with the game is its lack of replay value, as Toki Tori comes without scoring or achievements. Once you complete all 80 puzzles packed into the game, there is no further reason to continue playing. There is plenty of content to keep a player satisfied for hours, however.
For anybody who loves puzzles, platformers or just want a game that will blow you away, Toki Tori is for you. Besides, how could you resist the temptation of this adorable chicken?