Toki Tori is a puzzle video game with platform elements originally released by Capcom in September 2001 for the Game Boy Color. It was developed by Two Tribes B.V. and is their first published video game. The game follows a young chick, Toki Tori, and his quest to rescue his younger siblings, still in their eggs. To progress through the game, the player must pick up each egg on a level using a set number of tools, with new tools being introduced as the player progresses through the four worlds. This usually involves careful planning and creative thinking.
In the beginning cinematic, Toki Tori is on a cliff overlooking a castle and surrounded by a forest. He begins his quest in this forest, which ends with him entering the castle. In this castle, Toki Tori learns that he has special abilities that help him locate the eggs such as telewarp and bridge builder from a book he finds. He also learns in the castle that his powers were most likely the reason of the eggs' kidnapping. Upon finishing the castle world, Toki Tori falls through a trap door where he lands in the sewers, infested with slugs. When he is done collecting his brethren from this world, a strong torrent of water sweeps him up and sends him to Bubble Barrage, the last area of the game. After traversing this underwater world, Toki Tori returns home with his brothers and sisters.
Gameplay in Toki Tori consists of using a limited number of tools to gather up all the eggs in the level in a single run through it in a certain amount of time. Toki Tori is given a set amount of tools in the beginning of a level. The puzzles are designed around the tools so they must be used intelligently and usually using a tool incorrectly makes the level unbeatable. Enemies usually appear following a simple patrol of walking back and forth, turning when they hit an obstacle. If they touch Toki Tori, he instantly dies, forcing the player to restart the level. Some tools are weapons that can defeat these monsters, however they also must be used conservatively and wisely to keep the level beatable. Besides the threat of monsters, a timer is constantly ticking down. When the timer reaches zero, Toki Tori gives a disappointed look at the player, who must then restart the level. Once the player has a clear idea of how they are going to beat the level, however, they usually have ample time to execute their plan. There are fifteen levels in each of the four worlds, not including tutorial levels that appear when a previously unseen tool appears. Only the first ten are required to enter the next area. The other five are much more difficult and are there to add replay value.
The biggest difference in the worlds, besides cosmetics, is how each world has a specific tool associated with it. Forest Falls is the only level above water with the Freeze-o-matic, which used incorrectly can create obstacles as it freezes enemies in place. Creepy Castle contains the Ghost Trap, usable for passing through stone walls as well as beating ghosts. Slime Sewers contains the Snail Sucker, which is the only weapon that directly removes an enemy from the map. Bubble Barrage contains the Freeze-o-matic as well. When underwater, however, the frozen enemies float up so the game considers it a separate tool. Also Bubble Barrage uniquely contains the Bubble Suit.
At the end of the ten normal worlds, the player is treated to a short cinematic of Toki Tori entering the next world either on purpose or by accident. This is used to connect the levels more directly for the sake of the story.
Navigational tools help Toki Tori move around obstacles and get to higher and lower floors that would be otherwise inaccessible. For example, Toki Tori can jump half his height up and half his height forward. In order to cross a pit, then, he would need to fill the pit with blocks using his Crate Creator or place a platform over it with the bridge builder. Some items allow him to through walls, such as the telewarp. The most versatile tool is the Bubble Barrage-only Bubble Suit. It allows Toki Tori to travel one half his width/height in any of the four directions, to cross pits, climb up floors or avoid enemies. If the player has at least one use of it left, they may float indefinitely. It also can be refilled to five, ten or fifteen uses at recharge points scattered throughout most Bubble Barrage levels.
Weapon tools allow Toki Tori to hinder or even negate enemies from the level. These are especially useful as Toki Tori has no life bar so a single hit will end the current attempt. The Freeze-o-matic freezes an opponent in a block of ice which will either fall to the ground or float up to the ceiling depending on whether the level is underwater or not. In both cases, careful planning can ensure that the block of ice is a platform while poor planning can make it a road block. The Ghost Trap, when placed on stone floors, causes the floor to give way when a ghost walks on it. This doesn't destroy the ghost but can get it out of the player's way. It also allows the Ghost Trap to work as a navigational tool to get to lower floors. The Snail Sucker sucks can either suck in slugs, removing them from the level, or cause them to change directions if they aren't sucked all the way into the Snail Sucker. The latter use does not cost one use of the Snail Sucker.
One tool that is different from the rest is the Eyes tool. This tool is available on every level and has unlimited uses. It pauses Toki Tori and any enemies in the level, but not the timer, and allows the player to freely look at the level, controlling the camera with the directional pad, which assists in planning their path.
The Eyes tool and timer were only present in the GBC version of Toki Tori.
An enhanced remake of Toki Tori was released for the Nintendo Wii via WiiWare in 2008. It was a WiiWare launch title in Europe, being released on May 20, 2008, and was later released in North America on June 2, 2008.
The Wii remake of Toki Tori features a 3D design while retaining his two dimensional scrolling gameplay, and allows players to use a control scheme that uses the Wii Remote's pointer function to lead Toki Tori through each level. However, traditional control is also available. A second player can also draw hints on screen with the Wii Remote.
The remake features redesigned versions of the original levels, in addition to new levels, on a new game code base.
As the predecessor, many elements from Eggbert reappear in Toki Tori. The goal of an older brother rescuing his siblings, still in their eggs, is untouched. Also carried over was the basic gameplay. Eggbert is given a limited amount of up to three tools (the Eye tool is unnecessary because the entire level always fits on the screen) which must used conservatively and intelligently to gather eggs while avoiding enemies lurking the stages. Toki Tori uses the same sprite as Eggbert. Eggbert provided three of the four worlds for Toki Tori. Many tools from Eggbert reappear in Toki Tori, such as the Telewarp. Some reappear though cosmetically they are slightly different. For example, Toki Tori's Freeze-o-matic works identically to Eggbert's slime gun. Eggbert's clone creator, which makes a gray, life-sized doll of Eggbert that acts both as a blockade and a platform, is identical in use to the Crate Creator.
Despite these similarities, there are some notable differences. One cinematic difference is Eggbert's name becoming Toki Tori. Toki Tori's name is Japanese and literally translates as "time (toki) bird (tori)." Another difference is that his siblings ran away from him as opposed to being taken by a strong wind. Despite this particular change, however, the endings of both are almost identical. Also, there is no reference to Eggbert's abilities as there is at the end of Toki Tori's Creepy Castle level. In terms of gameplay, Eggbert had shorter and simpler levels. Eggbert's tutorial levels were placed in the same "tutorial" world and optional as opposed to Toki Tori making mandatory tutorial levels scattered throughout the game. It also had a couple of different tools, including one that turned Eggbert invisible and a separate tool, a magnet, to cause an enemy to reverse direction (which would later be added on to the Snail Sucker). It also didn't have Toki Tori's 20 extra hard levels. The largest change made in Toki Tori, however, was the replacement of Eggbert's Chip Level with Toki Tori's Creepy Castle.
Toki Tori was one of the last games released for the Game Boy Color. Some critics have attributed the interest surrounding the newly released Game Boy Advance, coupled with the fact that Toki Tori was a new name in the industry as the reason it was ignored by the public at large.
Reviews were generally positive from the critics, being viewed as an intelligent addition to the dying Game Boy Color system. A GamePro writer commented how its challenging puzzles made it an enjoyable game. One Game Informer reviewer called it "thoughtful title in Game Boy Color's sea of pooped-out platformers" while another admitted it held challenges but noted that, even as a puzzle game fan, he simply didn't find it an addicting experience, an important aspect for puzzle games. Besides the puzzles, critics also praised the graphics saying the game "even fits right at home on the Game Boy Advance, looking as close to a native GBA game as any Game Boy Color title has ever come"
Reviews for the WiiWare release of the game were also positive as well, with IGN giving the game an 8/10, saying that the gameplay holds up extremely well, with the presentation significantly better than the original Game Boy Color release. N-Europe highly praised the title, giving it a 9/10 and commenting that it was 'oozing with charm and held together with love'.