Captain Toad: Special Episode impressions: Exploring with friends

Captain Toad's Special Episode DLC has something for solo adventurers and their friends, with 18 levels showing off the game's new co-op feature.

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So it appears that Captain Toad isn't quite done exploring through dangerous worlds just yet. Back in February, Nintendo revealed that Captain Toad would be getting some premium DLC in the form of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - Special Episode. This adds a whole new chapter to the existing Captain Toad game, adding 18 new challenges, with five new courses among them. With our itch for adventure not yet sated, Shacknews jumped on board to give this new DLC a look.

Special Episode sees Toad and Toadette in search of a valuable crown. Just as with the main game, behemoth crow Wingo is vexing the explorers again. Wingo has taken the crown and the idea is to venture across over a dozen levels to get it back. What this means, aesthetically, is that instead of stars, each level will end with Toad retrieving a crown.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - Special Episode
Team up with a friend to take out some Boos

A lot of what's featured in the Special Episode will look familiar. A handful of existing stages have been recycled with some all-new objectives. One of those objectives mainly revolve around either collecting crown pieces, back-to-back, within a set time limit. If the time expires, Toad has to go back and grab the first piece and start the process over again. The bonus challenge here is that the usual three diamonds that are sprinkled around each level only appear with certain crown pieces and disappear otherwise. Grabbing each diamond piece is a tough task and makes these stages a handful.

The other new objective type involves stages full of Boos and this one is designed with the recent addition of co-op play in mind. Boos can only be dispatched with two players shining their headlamps in their faces. (I actually found out late that it is possible for one Toad to defeat Boos, but that takes a while.) That means both players must work in tandem, especially since Boos will appear in large numbers. So will Big Boos, making things even tougher.

It is possible to play these stages in single-player, but Nintendo doesn't make that easy. The duplicating cherry is offered for solo players, but those players will then have to manage controlling two Toads simultaneously, which can be a tough tasks in itself. The Boo stages are definitely more fun with a second player.

The original stages in this pack offer some new sights and some creative additions. And as a bonus, there's a final stage that offers a small preview of the hidden Secret Level. While Mummy-Me Maze Forever is unlocked after collecting all Super Gems and completing all bonus objectives, the Chaos in the Grand Labyrinth stage is available at the end of this DLC. But just because it's more widely available than the main game's secret final level doesn't mean it's easy. In fact, Chaos in the Grand Labyrinth proves to be one of the most intense challenges in the game, with a relentless Mummy-Me Toad giving chase across 30 floors. This one takes a while to finish, but the addition of this level is some great icing on this cake.

As one might imagine, if there's a criticism to the Special Episode, it's that it's over all too quickly. And if you find a stage that looks particularly cool, don't get used to seeing it, because it's often a one-and-done. These 18 stages can be completed easily within an hour, though completing all of the challenges may take a little bit longer. But they're fun additions that make the most of the Captain Toad formula, while also offering a little something cool for friends that want to play together. Those who have a little extra cash lying around, consider getting set for adventure one more time.


These impressions are based on a Nintendo Switch digital copy provided by the publisher. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - Special Episode is available now on the Nintendo eShop for $5.99.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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