Toki Tori 2

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Toki Tori 2 Game Poster Image
Puzzle game without any instructions could vex younger kids.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about puzzle solving, logic, analyzing evidence, and applying information in this tricky but rewarding puzzle game. Players will learn game mechanics through trial and error. They'll evaluate their surroundings, abilities, and previous experiences and apply that knowledge to problems at hand, working out how to make nearby animals and objects move in order to create new paths forward. It offers little in the way of support or feedback, but Toki Tori 2's puzzles have the power to make kids feel quite clever when they eventually solve them.

Positive Messages

Players spend most of the game engaged in contextual puzzles, using their minds to work out logical solutions.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The only characters are non-speaking animals. However, the game's avian protagonist proves himself clever and resourceful as he uses reason rather than violence to solve his problems.

Ease of Play

There are no instructions or even onscreen tutorials in this game. Players are encouraged instead to experiment with simple mechanics -- movement, whistling, stomping -- to make things happen and figure out how to bypass obstacles. Working things out for yourself can be rewarding but it also proves quite frustrating while you're stuck, especially for younger players.

Violence

The worst that happens to the game's little bird is that he gets shocked by electrically-charged animals. A cartoonish electrocution animation makes him pop into a cloud of feathers. He then reappears again nearby, apparently none the worse for wear.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Toki Tori 2 is a side-scrolling puzzle adventure game. It has very little violence (expect a cartoonish shock animation every now and then) and no other iffy content. It stars a bird under the player's control who runs around colorful environments solving contextual conundrums by tweeting and stomping the ground to make other animals and objects move. Note, this game was purposefully designed without any instructions or tutorials. Players are meant to experiment and explore to figure things out. However, deciphering solutions without even the option of help can be frustrating, especially for younger players who may get stuck more easily. 

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What's it about?

Players take on the role of a curious yellow bird running around colorful forested environments in TOKI TORI 2, a side-scrolling puzzle/platforming game available for PCs and Wii U. No instructions, tutorials, or even onscreen directions are provided. Players must instead explore and experiment, using the bird's two default abilities -- a whistle chirped out with one button and a gentle stomp performed with another -- to affect its environment. The whistle might call the attention of an animal, getting it to move close and create a platform used to gain access to higher areas in the process; while the stomp may send the same animal in the opposite direction. Collectibles are scattered through each level, and players can freely move between completed levels on the world map to go back and collect any items they may have missed.

Is it any good?

Most players' enjoyment of Toki Tori 2 will depend largely on the sort of gamers they are. If you're the sort who testily tells people to back off when they try to explain things, you'll likely have a grand time. Indeed, the point of the game is to figure out how to do things for yourself. What do those bubbles do? How do I get that frog-thing to turn around? What will stop that big bird in the sky from picking me up when I go near? These are the sorts of questions you'll need to find answers to yourself through a combination of logic and trial and error, and the satisfaction of success is not to be underestimated.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to watch demonstrations on how to do things before actually doing them, or you like a bit of hand-holding now and then in tricky spots, or you don't mind getting some feedback and maybe a helpful nudge or hint when things get frustrating, Toki Tori 2 may drive you mad. Point being, you're basically on your own in this one, and it could be for better or worse. There's a very fun puzzle game here, but it won't be to all tastes.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about puzzle solving. Do you like to solve puzzles on your own, or do you like to do it with a little help? How do you react if you get stuck on a particularly tricky puzzle? Does taking a break and returning with fresh eyes help?

  • Families can also discuss animal intellect. Do you think animals can solve puzzles? What sort of problems might a real bird face in its daily existence that it would be properly equipped to figure out? 

Game details

For kids who love creative and puzzle games

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