It’s a well-known fact that McDonalds’ chicken nuggets are actually made out of baby chicks. Just look at the things. They’re the right size and shape, not to mention they taste about as good as chowing down on one of the little yellow puffballs. I only mention this here because the game we’re discussing is all about baby chicks: it’s Toki Tori 2+, a puzzler that’s made its way to the PS4 after stints on the Wii U and PC. No, the chick doesn’t get turned into a McNugget, though theoretically the lava that shows up in certain stages could make that happen…
In Toki Tori 2+, you play as a tiny yellow chick tasked with saving the world. It’s had worse saviors, I guess, like me when I defeated the villainous Dr. Neckbeard and stopped his plans to turn the world into a giant anime club. Anyway, your chick can jump, it can stomp and it can sing. Unlike the original Toki Tori, which revolved around a variety limited-use tools in a manner similar to the classic Lemmings, this is pretty much the extent of what you can do. At least the controls are simple to learn and use!
Using your limited moveset creatively is key to completing the game. Your goal in each level is to find the exit game with the help of other animals. Singing tends to bring animals to you and can also be used as a teleportation tool, while stomping tends to scare animals off, but it’s the exceptions to these rule that make the game the brainteaser it is. For example, frogs will croak when you stomp near them. Feed them a berry first and they’ll blow a bubble when they burp, which can help you float up to new areas. If you want to be extra tricky, you can use frog bubbles to float other frogs to new areas, then use those frogs to get even higher!
Other fancy moves include singing to get birds to carry you to their nests, which is a great movement and utility tool. When you need a dark area lit up, for instance, you can sing while being carried to move the lightning bugs you use for light around. Tricks like this are this game’s lifeblood. If you’re the sort that enjoys the feeling of boiling down a complex situation to its basic elements and clearing it that way, then Toki Tori 2+ is your game. Some might find it frustrating, but Toki Tori 2’s generally soft edges keep the game from becoming a maddening mess.
Toki Tori 2+’s presentation is just as soft and cuddly. Your chick bounces along happily, chirping and stomping away to solve puzzles. Other animals are generally adorable rather than menacing. The hermit crabs that make up many of the later game’s puzzles were a personal favorite as they scuttled about carrying useful obstacles with them. The music on offer here is also relatively soothing, which is a good thing when the game’s puzzles start to amp up the difficulty a bit.
While it differs significantly from its predecessor, Toki Tori 2+ is a great puzzler that’s worth a look for fans of the genre. It lacks a lot of the frustration that tend to accompany puzzle platformers, which is certainly a plus. Puzzle fans looking for a less violent adventure ought to chick…er, check it out.