Toki Tori's premise is straightforward. Using a limited number of tools (ranging from the suitably named Freeze-o-matic to the unimposing Bubble Suit), Toki Tori has to gather up his lost and unhatched brothers and sisters.
The game has developed something of a cult following, helped in large part by its multiple re-releases, in particular its Steam release, which added a Level Editor so that fans could finally put together their own Easter egg hunts.
A sequel was released in April 2013 on Wii U eShop, with a Steam version released in July 2013. It is much more ambitious than its predecessor, with big worlds and some Metroidvania elements. Tools have been replaced by manipulating the environment (creatures, nature, artifacts, etc.) to help you explore the levels and collect tokens instead of eggs.
Both games provide examples of:
- Conjoined Eyes: Toki Tori himself, as seen in the page image.
- Convection Schmonvection: An old stone castle in the first game, a volcano in the second. As long as Toki Tori doesn't touch any of the lava pools, he's fine.
- Excuse Plot:
- Toki Tori: The original version shows your sibling eggs getting taken away; the rest only imply it. In either case, nothing ever comes of it.
- Toki Tori 2 does have a plot, but given where the game falls on the Sliding Scale of Visuals Versus Dialogue, it's rather minimal and serves mostly to give the player a reason to explore the game world.
- Level Editor: For each game's Steam release.
- Meaningful Name: Toki means "Time" (時）, And Tori means "Bird" (鳥) in Japanese. Thus, Toki Tori is literally "Time bird" in Japanese.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Enemies and spikes both stop Toki Tori in his tracks. On occasion, a puzzle will be based around luring an enemy into a trap (such as lava or an electric field), which will kill them instantly.
- Reset Button: The first game's Steam release introduced the Rewind function as an Anti-Frustration Feature, so the player doesn't have to restart an entire level if they render a puzzle unsolvable or become trapped in an inescapable pit. In that same vein, the second game has the Rewind melody (see Magic Music below), which will return Toki to the previous checkpoint.
- From Toki Tori's Steam achievement list:
- From Toki Tori 2+'s Steam achievement list:
- Launching the birds' escape craft earns "A pollo 13".
- Getting stuck in an infinite warp loop earns "Now you're thinking with poultry".
- Each ancient frog has an achievement associated with it: "The heavy", "The pyro", "The scout", "The spy", "The sniper".
- Hidden in a secret location is a toppled Statue of Tokity; the achievement for finding it is "You Maniacs! You blew it up!"
- One of the songs from the second game's soundtrack is titled "All will be lost, like... frogs... in... rain..."
Toki Tori provides examples of:
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Slimy Sewers (or Slime Cave on Gameboy).
- A Winner Is You: Your reward for beating all the normal levels is an animated cookout.
- Crossover: The Steam version added the Test Lab world as part of a multiple-game-spanning promotion for Portal 2.
- Double Unlock: In the Steam version, complete 10 stages to get a message saying the bonus levels are unlocked. The bonus levels still have a lock on them, which get unlocked if you join the Steam group.
- Dungeon Bypass: The Wildcard in the later versions allows you to skip a level you can't beat. However, you have to go back and beat that level if you want to use the Wildcard later.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Toki Tori is shown cooking eggs in the credits. Not clear if any of them were fertile.
- Kaizo Trap: The second to last level of the Portal 2 promotion world positions the last egg over a spike pit. Jumping for it will kill you during your victory animation unless you drop an Insta-Rock on it and teleport down into the egg; the rock falls past you during your animation and you land on it.
- No Plot? No Problem!: In the original Game Boy Color game, Toki Tori's siblings were stolen away by a tornado that was implied to be controlled by some evil force. Later releases ignore this and the eggs just seem to have gotten lost for no real reason.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: They're affected by gravity and can die, for starters.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: Bubble Barrage takes place completely underwater but plays like any other world. Toki Tori does sport some goggles though.
Toki Tori 2+ provides examples of:
- Bag of Spilling: In a sense. Toki Tori has none of his tools from the previous game, instead relying on whistles and stomps.
- Colony Drop: The ending. Once you bring all five ancient frogs to the crystal room, they destroy the crystal, causing the entire landmass to plummet to ground level. Fortunately, everyone turns out alright.
- Door to Before: Several areas contain molehills. Each come in pairs; once the player reaches the end of an area, a mole will show up and dig a shortcut, for easy backtracking.
- Escort Mission: Transporting each ancient frog is its own puzzle.
- Ground Pound: Not used as an attack, but a key source of interacting with the game world.
- Living MacGuffin: The ancient frogs.
- Magic Music: Aside from guiding or luring creatures, this is the other purpose of Toki's chirp. There are five melodies (six if you include the wings, once you've unlocked them). Toki is, effectively, his own Warp Whistle.
- 100% Completion: Finding every collectible (410 in total) and filling every collectible deposit, which unlocks a door that rewards you with a pair of wings.
- The Reveal: Once you visit the city in the center of the map, you go deep underground and discover the source of the black geysers that have been bursting from the ground: the entire game is set on a Floating Continent, and the giant crystal that keeps it afloat has begun to crack.
- Sequence Breaking: The game does guide the player toward certain destinations, but you're allowed to freely explore. A Steam achievement is given for completing the game's main objective without visiting the city.
- Sliding Scale of Visuals Versus Dialogue: On the extreme visual end of the scale, as described here. The game has little to no text at all, presenting story and game mechanics through entirely visual means.
- Super Drowning Skills: Toki Tori can hold his breath for 10 seconds.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Most of ways Toki Tori can die (being crushed, electrocuted, burnt in lava, etc.) can also be inflicted on the harmless birds, bugs, and frogs that inhabit the game world. In a few cases, this wanton animal abuse is required for progress, or will earn an achievement.