For quite a while, I wasn't sure whether I was going to give this game a thumbs up or a thumbs down. On one hand, it's a very charming game with some interesting and at times challenging puzzles. On the other hand, it is absolutely nothing like what I was expecting after having played the first Toki Tori game.
The first Toki Tori involved you using a variety of gadgets to solve puzzles in a small area. Your goal is to gather eggs, of which there are a known amount in every level. It was a fun, challenging puzzle game and I wanted more.
Toki Tori 2+, now... You don't have any gadgets. In fact, the only two abilities you have are to sing and to do a ground pound, neither of which were in the first game. Those are the only two things you will use to solve every single puzzle in the game.
It's also a pseudo-Metroidvania map style now. I say "pseudo" because you don't really gain new abilities to unlock new areas. You can access any part of the game from the very beginning, just so long as you know what to do. Not necessarily a bad departure.
There are no tutorials. At all. You have to figure out everything on your own. And I have to wonder why they left out anything explaining the basic functions of the game. Tori 1 had a single tutorial level for each new gadget you used. Here, there's no dialogue or explanation of anything. Even in the pause menu, you have several icons and you have to figure out what they mean for yourself.
In Toki Tori 1, you had the clear goal of finding all of your eggs to complete a level. In Toki Tori 2, I'm not sure what exactly you're gathering or why. Instead of eggs, you're gathering... something. They're yellow shiny things, but I don't know why you need to get them. Actually, after playing six hours of the game, I'm still not even sure if gathering the somethings actually has an impact on the game, apart from a sense of completion. There's also no indicator for how many somethings you've found or haven't found, so if I was going for full completion, I would have no way of knowing how many I'd missed. I cared about gathering eggs because they helped me finish a level. Here, I don't even know what I'm gathering, much less why, so why should I care?
That sort of brings me to another point. Without any sort of guidance, I have no idea what to do or why to do it. Even open world games like Skyrim or KOTOR gave you an idea of what to do. With Toki Tori 2+ I've just spent hours wandering around the world map (after figuring out how to use it - which I needed a walkthrough to figure out), solving puzzles, and looking at the pretty visuals. It all feels rather pointless if the entire end result is just that you see more scenery.
That being said, the game is very charming. It's a very interesting world and there are some beautiful settings. The puzzles also can be very interesting, if a bit repetetive (there's only so many times you can get a frog to cough up a bubble before you're just going through the motions). I wouldn't say I hate the game, just that it's not at all what I expected based on the first game and that I'm a bit confused why they decided to change, well... everything.
As the sequel to Toki Tori 1, I do have to say that I was a bit let down. Change in a sequel is good, but you do have to keep enough the same that it's at least recognizable as a sequel. However, as a standalone game, my only real complaint would be that without anything to explain what we're doing or why, there's no purpose. Apart from that, it's still a fun game. Perhaps for that reason, I'll give it a thumbs up. However, if you're planning to buy this because you liked the first game, keep in mind that it won't be similar at all.