What came first, the chicken or the egg? This question has troubled people for ages, and Toki Tori 2+ does not seek to answer it, but it is a charming and unique puzzle game starring an adorable little chicken. Toki Tori 2+, developed by Two Tribes, is an updated version of Toki Tori 2, which is a sequel to Toki Tori, which originally released in 2001 on the Game Boy Color, but has since been remade.
In Toki Tori 2 you are tasked with solving increasingly tricky puzzles using only a whistle and a stomp to manipulate your surroundings and the creatures within the world. I found this mechanic to be a novel one, and the game uses everything it teaches you to great effect.
The puzzles are deceptively simple, but there were various times where I found myself stumped, only to have a satisfying eureka moment once I figured out what I needed to do. These moments are what make puzzle games an enjoyable experience, and Toki Tori 2+ delivers them, even if some of the puzzles feel a little too prolonged at times.
The graphics in Toki Tori 2+ are both crisp and charming, from the well-designed environments to the distinct and cute critters. The game looks just as good playing in handheld mode on the Switch, the version of the game I played, and the addition of HD rumble support seems like a minor one, but I thought it enhanced the overall experience for me.
Accompanying the adorable visuals is a relaxing soundtrack, which lightens the mood of the game, and makes solving some of the more difficult puzzles feel more calming than other puzzle games, which can often be frustrating experiences for me. If I could think of one word to describe the music it would be atmospheric as it fits into the theme of the environments, wasn’t too in your face, but was still present enough to make the game feel more laid-back and stress relieving.
Speaking of music the whistle mechanic in the game is not just used to attract critters your way, but a specific series of long and short notes cause specific things to happen. These include a fast travel mechanic, camera, collectible finder, a spawnable checkpoint, and a quick reset to the last checkpoint. All of these are very useful, and while they do not change how you solve the puzzles per se, they do help immensely.
The fast travel is the most useful of the bunch, as you will find yourself needing to go back to older levels to see new paths using knowledge of how to solve puzzles you may not have had before. I found this setup to be brilliant, as it gives players new perspectives to old levels, as well as makes the game feel more open and free. It does this without spamming constant tutorials in players faces, instead relying on puzzles and your skills to figure out what needs to be done.
On the surface, Toki Tori 2+ may seem like a cute, and simple puzzle game, but deep down it contains unique game mechanics and puzzles that are clever and well thought out, even if they are drawn out a bit too long at times. I found this to be a great game to pick up and play whenever and filled with plenty of satisfying moments when I figured out some of the more difficult puzzles.
Overall Toki Tori 2+ may not be the longest or most story-driven puzzle game I have played, but it is filled to the brim with charm and is both relaxing and engaging, and would make an excellent addition to any Switch owners library. 9/10
*This review is based on the recently released Switch version of the game, it is also available on Wii U, PS4 and PC*