Publisher: BitFinity, Sunken Treasure Games
Platforms: Wii U, Mac, PC
Tested on: PC
Tadpole Treble – Review
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Tadpole Treble has made it onto Steam and Wii U. It proves to be a thrilling adventure through sheet music, filled with predatory piranhas, tadpoles and more. Let’s check out what it’s all about and uncover the tadpole mysteries.
The life of every frog starts as a tadpole, and that’s exactly how the story of Tadpole Treble starts. You start off by breaking outside if the egg and then you make your way downstream, only to realize that you’ve gone too far and can’t go back because the current is too strong. A bird even picks you up and transports you to a place far away. Your job is to get reunited with your parents at all costs!
Tadpole Treble is a music based game, but that didn’t stop the developers from putting somewhat of a story inside of their game. The story that’s present is quite modest, but it’s simple enough to provide some context to the gameplay.
The graphics in Tadpole Treble look very simple and beautiful at the same time. At first glance, it looks like a game for kids because the art style is so simple and cartoony, which is the beauty of this game. Everything looks so simple and nice, you don’t have to watch something twice in order to see what it is or what it tries to represent. There’s also no interrupting background themes which cause you to hit every spike in existence, which is a great thing.
Music and sound effects are pretty much spot on. The soundtracks in Tadpole Treble are simply amazing and you’ll never get bored of them. They’re a great fit with the game and some surprising tracks with singing are even in there, which makes it even more special than it already is. Sound effects also fit together well with the rest of the game, they’re not too loud to overwhelm the music and not too silent so you don’t hear them.
The gameplay in Tadpole Treble is extremely simple, you move up and down and slap with your tail, that’s pretty much it. The “playing field” consists of five different strings which you can move between, there’s also a step in between every string so in total there are ten lanes where things can be coming at you.
Most of the time will be spent inside of the adventure mode, where you venture through different areas, each with a different song and layout. Every area will award you with a score and rank upon completion, which can later be found inside of the leaderboards, if you’re good enough… There’s a couple of things you can do to earn score. First of all there’s bubbles, most levels have 100 of them and these can be used to unlock extras in the main menu. There’s also points which can be picked up, which just improve score and that’s pretty much it. Furthermore there’s health globes for when you get hit by spikes or bitten by pesky fish.
Most elements that come scrolling down horizontally from the end of the screen contain music notes. These notes get activated once they pass you, and that’s how the music in Tadpole Treble works. That means it’s a perfect game for a track editor, which it luckily has. Tracks can be built easily with a range of different notes, objects and tools. The only downside is that the tracks are shared through QR code, which makes it pretty hard to share between friends.
As said, extras can be unlocked in the main menu. This can be things like a bestiary, a scene viewer, music player and more. Apart from collecting bubbles, you can also unlock things like challenge flies by completing certain objectives during a level like never getting hit, getting all of the bubbles, hitting all of the bamboo and more.
There’s no difficulty slider for the game and things tend to get harder and harder as you get further into the areas. However, you do have a “treble charge” which you can activate once it’s fully charged, which will make you invulnerable for any damage for a while, this can get you out of pesky situations fairly quickly.
All in all, playing Tadpole Treble was a fantastic experience. It started out looking like a game for kids, but it got better and better while playing. Also, it got quite a bit harder, which means that it isn’t really meant for kids after all, maybe except for the first couple of levels. The music and sound effects are simply amazing to hear and make this game great. A little downside is that created tracks can’t be shared that easily.