Tadpole Treble PC Review - One of the best PC releases this year
As someone who suffers from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), the cold and wet Irish winter can be harsh. It is at this time of year I tend to seek fun video games with bright vibrant colors and humor. Basically, less violent games more happy and cheerful ones. This week, indie developers BitFinity, brought me much joy, giving the opportunity to play and review their title Tadpole Treble.
Tadpole Treble is a musical adventure game developed by brothers Matthew and Michael Taranto as BitFinity. Matthew is the creator of the famed Smash-bros themed webcomic "Brawl in the family". Tadpole Treble released August 11th, 2016 on the Wii U and currently available on Steam. It's PC, Linux, Mac and SteamOS versions released on September 2nd, 2016.
It is easily one of the best releases this year. With a phenomenal soundtrack, beautiful visuals, comical moments and addictive gameplay, Tadpole Treble will keep you hooked for hours.
You take on the role of Baton, a tadpole who just hatched from her egg. While swimming Baton wanders too far. A pelican scoops the tadpole up and flies away. Baton barely escapes and finds herself far away from home.
And so, Baton's journey to find her way home begins.
While Tadpole Treble has a relatively simple plot, its characters are what make it special. They all have their own characteristics. Whether they are an enemy, a Frank Sinatra tadpole or a greedy bubble loving bullfrog, they are all very unique.
They are all wonderfully and creatively designed, from their appearance right down to their animation. Every character is completely different and they bring the world to life. The plot may not be deep but few games can create characters like this.
Unique and addictive gameplay
The gameplay is unique. The objective is to get to the end of each level. As you progress through a level you must avoid objects that act as music notes and, enemies such as piranhas. You also collect sparkles and bubbles for points, and unlockables and food to regain health.
You can also smash reeds for points and symbols to be hurled into the air for hidden pick ups. As you avoid the "music notes" you can build a streak of up to thirty. This streak increases the points you gain. Hitting a symbol increases the score multiplier.
Each level has a unique challenge to complete. Challenges come in the form of hitting all reeds, completing a level without eating food and so on. There are five medals to earn in each of the levels. S Rank, F Rank, all bubbles gathered, challenge fly obtained, and level completed.
While there is only a total of thirteen levels to complete, the medals make them very replayable. That doesn't even count the leaderboards for each level. You may be thinking, do the levels not get repetitive? Surprisingly they don't.
I find the gameplay to be so fun that it never get boring.
Attempting to obtain each medal requires playing in different ways too, adding to the replayability. After completing the game, you unlock concerto mode. This mode is a hardcore mode. You must complete the game from start to finish without dying and score as many points as possible. A real challenge for those looking to test their skills.
I love the gameplay and it has kept me hooked from the moment first played it. Even now, as I write this, I am battling urges to pick up the game.
A wonderful soundtrack that brings everything together
Any music based game must have a fine soundtrack to go with it. Tadpole Treble does an immaculate job. Each of the thirteen levels has a different song. Each song is a different genre of music. That includes 8-bit music, blues, jazz and much more.
Some of the songs also have lyrics. The singing in those particular songs is spectacular. It is the brilliance of the soundtrack that brings everything together. As the songs blend in with the actual level. The sounds you hear from events taking place on screen are part of the song.
The soundtrack emphasizes the amount of work, dedication, and love that went into this game. It takes massive patience to get everything spot on and synch the level to the song. Truly, enormous amounts of love went into the game and its soundtrack.
Release the musician in you
One of the features of the game is the ability to create your own levels and music. You are given everything that you need. You simply choose what note or object you want and click where to place it. It is a nice feature for anyone with an interest in music and composing it.
I, on the other hand, haven't got a musical bone in my body. While I see how many would enjoy the composition, I don't due to being a disaster. That said, once you have finished creating a level, you can share it with the community.
A game of the year contender
Tadpole Treble is a game of the year contender for me. Few games can bring the enjoyment and cheer that this game does. It is clever. It has brilliant design both in levels and gameplay. Its soundtrack is simply enamoring.
To me, it is the video game of Disney's Fantasia. It really reminds me of watching it as a child.
Most importantly of all, from a technical standpoint, I experienced zero problems. No bugs, no glitches and no crashes. It worked flawlessly. It isn't a game everyone will enjoy but those who love music will adore it. One thing is for certain, it is a title that is sure to put a smile on your face.
Tadpole Treble is available to buy on Steam and the Wii U store for €9.99.
Disclaimer: A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.