When Captain Toad was introduced in last year's superlative Super Mario 3D World, little did we know his inclusion was laying down the ground work for a game of his own. 3D World didn't exactly need those sporadic bonus levels, but they were a refreshing addition that mixed things up brilliantly.
Having created the very notion of platforming games, Nintendo is naturally pretty good at making them. They make a wide variety as well. Mario has his Super Mario Bros side-scrolling, Mario 64 third person adventures and the 3D Land, 3D World games that fit between.
Then there's the Donkey Kong Country series and the Yoshi series, which has yet to reach the heights of 1995 Super Nintendo classic Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Captain Toad represents Nintendo's latest variation, one partly inspired by the world-rotating puzzle aspects of games like PSP title Echochrome and Phil Fish's Fez.
Without the ability to jump, Captain Toad must work his way around a small environment with the player rotating the camera to reveal new pathways and hidden corners. His goal is to collect a gold star at the end of each course, with three optional diamonds to also find.
Of course the basic gameplay introduced in 3D World has been built upon here, with new enemies, a bigger variety of settings and some different levels that mix the gameplay up.
We played a few regular levels - including the standard haunted house level - a boss-like level which saw Toad avoiding the fiery breath of a vexed dragon and another level in which he rode a cart and the player's view turned to shooting turnips from the Gamepad.
'Very Nintendo' just about covers it actually. Captain Toad has a simplistic charm to it that all key Nintendo titles retain, but also a freshness other older series don't have. It's not a world away from the 3D World or 3D Land formula, but Captain Toad is different enough to be a game Nintendo fans should be getting very excited about.
Whisper it, but this could be Nintendo's best game of 2014.