Stitchy in Tooki Trouble is a Nintendo Switch exclusive platformer that’s firmly rooted in some of the classics of the genre. Heavy on nostalgia, how does the experience hold up? Find out in our review.
Belgium-based developer Polygoat doesn’t hide its love for the classic Super Nintendo platformers in the Donkey Kong Country series, and we’re with them. We’d even say that those games have aged better than Donkey Kong 64 because the 2D style holds up so much better than the 3D visuals from the N64 era. Stitchy in Tooki Trouble sticks to classic 2D platforming, and introduces us to a whole new world in the process.
You’re Stitchy, who lives his life as a scarecrow, out on a quest to retrieve corn that was stolen by the game’s antagonist Tooki. The game isn’t heavily story-driven, but the narrative does allow for frequent changes in level designs and backdrops, which is nice. The gameplay itself, at least in the standard platforming sections that make up the bulk of the game, doesn’t diversify as much though. Stitchy controls in a rather generic way for 2D platformers, which is to say that it’s easy and intuitive to get into the game but you also shouldn’t expect too much in the way of surprising or innovating mechanics.
As a result, the control scheme is also quite simple to get comfortable with, which makes Stitchy in Tooki Trouble a great game if you want to introduce younger players to the world of 2D platformers. The game doesn’t require twitch-like reflexes, doesn’t have a convoluted control scheme and a bunch of button presses and combos to learn and generally isn’t too difficult either. Completing the game’s 30 or so levels should be a breeze to most players, though younger newcomers will get more mileage out of the experience.
Visually, Stitchy in Tooki Trouble certainly looks the part, and it’s refreshing to see another classic 2D platformer that doesn’t go the retro/pixel route. Jet Kave Adventure was another nice example on the Switch, and Stitchy’s journey takes him through all kinds of locations filled with all kinds of dangers. There are also some nice modern touches to the visuals with some 2.5 effects, and the game’s slower-than-average pace gives you plenty of time to enjoy it all. Some of the more frantic moments involve an Indiana Jones-type minecart scene, but Stitchy is rarely if ever stress-inducing.
The game’s boss fights can bring some stress and excitement though, and even though there are only three they are clear highlights of the game because they’re designed and animated well. Each one has its own environment, attack patterns, and battles even have stages to them. Combined with the well realized visuals, you’re going to wish Stitchy had more of them – though these are also the toughest parts for younger players to get past.
Stitchy in Tooki Trouble ticks a lot of the boxes when it comes to the classic 2D platforming formula, but does ultimately feel too formulaic. Where retro-inspired games like Yooka-Laylee rose to the occasion and became classics in their own right, Stitchy feels like a copycat that’s hard to love but impossible to hate. Its audiovisual presentation and accessible gameplay make it a pleasant throwback, or a good intro for those still learning.