Thanks to Bitfinity for the review code
Title: Tadpole Treble
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release Date: 08/11/2016
In this musical adventure, you take control of a young tadpole named Baton who gets separated from his mother, and must embark on a strange journey to find her way back home. It’s a cute yet simple story that gets the job done!
Right from the start you’ll notice that this game has a gorgeous artstyle, one that’s reminiscent of a cartoon! This applies to both cutscenes and the levels themselves, giving the entire game a nice coat of paint to replace what could have easily been a dot moving up and down a white piece of sheet paper. Each stage is given a background that represents what location you’re currently at, with nothing too distracting or out of the ordinary. Considering how the artist for this title is best known for his high quality webcomics, it makes sense that everything would look pretty, and thankfully that talent carries over just fine with no sacrifices.
Music and Sound
As I said with the last rhythm game I reviewed, music is the key element of a rhythm game, and Tadpole Treble doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Each of the tracks sound crisp and clear, with a vocal theme being added to the mix as well to keep up the variety. There’s nothing too intense to find here, with peaceful and relaxing themes taking up the majority of the tracklist. There’s even a level editor where you can make your own levels and arrangements, though your success with using it will vary on your musical talent.
At first, Tadpole Treble may confuse you with the gameplay, mainly due to it playing differently than the usual button-pressing rhythm games that are out on the market. While careful button presses are the key to getting some bonuses, the main objective is to dodge incoming hazards, carefully moving Baton up and down in a way that corresponds with the sheet music of the song! Thankfully, even if you’re just like me and have zero familiarity with sheet music the game does a fairly good job pointing out the right paths to take due to the collectables that make up the correct path, allowing for the clever concept to be enjoyed by both music fans and those alien to the concept of sheet music. There’s even some boss battles thrown in every now and them, adding more variety to a game that already has a lot of it.
Previously mentioned in the Music section, this game also has a handy level editor, where you’re able to drag and drop parts of a stage using the Wii U gamepad. Unfortunately, I’m far from musically talented, so I wasn’t able to really make anything worth playing in this mode, although if you’re able to find them you can scan QR codes to play custom levels from other users for extra enjoyment. This is a great addition, as while the included tracks are fantastic there aren’t too many of them, allowing for the level editor to offer an infinite amount of levels. Sadly scanning QR codes with the Wii U gamepad isn’t as easy as it is on a 3DS or smartphone, but it still gets the job done nevertheless if you’re able to find a code on miiverse or some forum.
In conclusion Tadpole Treble is an absolutely adorable game that really only suffers from the length. Fans of short but sweet experiences will love any time spent with this game, while those hoping for a more lengthy experience will have to head to the level editor and fix that problem on your own, or aim for getting S ranks on every stage to unlock the bonus content! As of this review, it seems that for some odd reason it’s not available in the PAL region. (which usually isn’t the case if I get delayed during a review) Hopefully that gets fixed soon, as I ended up enjoying my time with Tadpole Treble, and I think that the overall happy mood of the game slightly helped to get me out of the rut I was in for the past month. I give Tadpole Treble an 8 out of 10.