Who saw this one coming? I would dare say few ever expected to see a full-length game based off of the Super Mario 3D World mini-game featuring Captain Toad. But that is exactly what we saw at E3 in the form of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.
In Super Mario 3D World, Captain Toad had the task of collecting stars around a 3D stage that could be rotated. Toad was unable to jump, and working through the levels required a thorough exploration of the stage which involved turning it to various perspectives and angles.
Treasure Tracker has taken those core elements and implemented them into a new and interesting title. On the whole this may seem like a silly idea to bring into a full-length game, but the real beauty of this title is the level of precision and execution that is required to traverse through the various stages.
The levels are also much more in-depth and engaging than the ones seen in Super Mario 3D World. For instance, I got to see several creative levels featuring Boos, a lava filled pit, and a crazy mine cart-themed world. So while the game will be considered a spin-off, the E3 demo suggests that it certainly should not be overlooked as some halfway put together and rushed title.
Outside of the basic movesets found in Super Mario 3D World, Toad has plenty of new skills as well. He is now able to throw turnips - a cameo from Super Mario Bros. 2 - at obstacles and as a mean to discover secrets in the world.
Treasure Tracker has the makings of a surpise hit written all over it. While it's not neccesarily exploring new grounds, it is greatly expanding on a gameplay element that still has a lot to offer. With Nintendo's flair for creativity, you can surely expect to see some downright incredible designs for Toad to work his way through when Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker releases on the Wii U later this year.