Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Stitchy in Tooki Trouble (NSW) Review

Stitchy in Tooki Trouble launches tomorrow on the Nintendo Switch eShop. In the meantime and on the eve of the game's release, SPC has a review of the game for your reading pleasure. 

A scarecrow's journey that is short and somewhat sweet

Platformers are in great abundance on the Nintendo Switch ("great abundance" might even understate the situation on the Switch), and no matter what kind you're into, there's plenty of competition. Of course, there is Nintendo's stable of platformers, featuring Mario, Kirby, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong, with the latter being notable as an inspiration for the subject of this review: Stitchy in Tooki Trouble. A game developed by Polygoat, Stitchy in Tooki Trouble has some similarities to Donkey Kong Country, but only on the surface level and not as deep as the recently released Kaze and the Wild Masks (which SPC will cover when the physical release launches next month).

Regardless, when you're a platformer on the Nintendo Switch, it becomes difficult to separate yourself from the competition, especially with how strong said competition is. While Stitchy in Tooki Trouble serves as an incredibly competent and more importantly fun 2.5D platformer, it's hard to recommend over other, more proficient platformers on Nintendo's hybrid console.

While the difficulty does pick up after the first world, I never felt TOO challenged by Stitchy's adventure.

Stitchy the Scarecrow's adventure starts out simple and quick: a band of Tiki-like enemies approach the farm he's resting at and pilfer all of the crops from the farm's fields. Stitchy surprisingly comes to life and finds himself eager to go on a platforming journey to get those crops back and deliver some justice to the Tooki tribe in the process. 

What follows is a series of three worlds featuring an assortment of platforming challenges. There is everything from swinging from ropes, deftly leaping from platform to platform which are undulating due to the ocean waves, sliding along icy floors and platforms, running from rising as well as pursuing lava, blasting from cannon to cannon in a Donkey Kong Country-style barrel sequence, and speaking of DKC, riding mine carts on a hazardous track, complete with death-defying leaps requiring utter precision and quick reaction times. 

Shiver me timbers. I think I'm getting seasick with these uneasy waves!

The three worlds take place in a forest, a winter tundra, and a factory filled with lava. Each world consists of ten starting levels with the tenth being a boss battle. Boss battles are enjoyable enough, but there is a lot of waiting to deal damage to the boss in the process as they repeat rather simple patterns that need to be avoided as they linger in the background. Nevertheless, these battles employ some clever ideas. 

There is an eleventh bonus level in each world, and these are unlocked by collecting all three Tooki totem pieces in each world's nine pre-boss levels. They aren't too difficult to discover their locations, as every level is incredibly linear with occasional secret areas. However, these are seldom off the beaten path. More often I was faced with missing a totem piece due to having only one chance at it, such as needing to bounce off an enemy's noggin to gain extra height to reach the platform where the totem piece rested. If I missed, I either restarted the level or intentionally perished. The latter didn't really matter, as lives are prominent due to gaining one for every 100 ears of corn collected. These are handed out like... um... ears of corn at a state fair. Okay, not the most creative analogy, but you hopefully get the point anyway.

Ears of corn are to Stitchy as coins are to Mario and bananas are to Donkey Kong.
Collect 100 for an extra life!

Aside from collecting all of the Tooki totems in the game, there is also optional stars to obtain in each level as well. These don't involve collecting anything. Instead, they're purely speed running through levels to beat specific times. You can earn up to three stars in each level--including boss levels--for beating the game's target times. This is the most challenging aspect of an otherwise breezy game, and even then, it didn't take me that long to accomplish.

No, Stitchy in Tooki Trouble is not a lengthy platformer by any stretch. In fact, I got 100% on my save file in about three hours without having too much trouble. That isn't to boast or brag; it's merely to state that the level of difficulty in Polygoat's game isn't that strong. However, for children and less experienced platforming game players, I can see a lot of entertainment and challenge coming their way, which is fantastic, as Stitchy in Tooki Trouble is overall a well crafted game. It was just for me an incredibly short and breezy play.

Stitchy gets back in gear by collecting a heart to add to his health.

Stitchy of Stitchy in Tooki Trouble fame does not have a large move set to him. He isn't as well stocked with his repertoire of moves like Mario or even Donkey Kong in the Donkey Kong Country games. All he has to his credit is a jump, a double jump, and a ground pound-esque slam. The controls are simple to learn, but no, they're not tough to master at all, going against the cliché phrase. This simplicity and sort of slowness of Stitchy's movements might bore more seasoned players, but again, for the younger crowd and less experienced players, it's might work for them.

Despite my brief and breezy time with Stitchy in Tooki Trouble, I did find myself enjoying the game. There are some well executed ideas and concepts presented in Polygoat's title, and it looks and sounds pleasant as well. Veterans of the platforming genre won't find themselves tested too terribly much from Stitchy's adventure, aside from perhaps certain time trials, and the short length of the game is another glaring issue that might make a purchase less than ideal. For everyone else, there is a lot to like about Stitchy in Tooki Trouble. Just don't expect anything too a-maize-ing. (Sorry, not sorry.)

[SPC Says: C+]

A code was received by SPC from the publisher for the purpose of writing this review.

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