Developer: Mark White
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

I love puzzle games that are not just about solving puzzles but also about timing. Tasty Tadpoles fits that description nicely since it is part arcade game and part puzzle game. The goal is to guide the orange tadpole to the exit while avoiding obstacles and collecting stars. Players can only control the tadpole by tapping and the orange tadpole instantly swims to the spot that was touched. While this sounds like it would make for an incredibly easy game, I found that since the tadpole only moves in a straight-line, levels can be quite hard.

In the regular game mode, stars appear one at a time in levels. To reveal the location of the second star, the first star has to be picked up, and same thing for the third star. I’ve never played a game where all of the pickups aren’t visible from the start and having the second star only appear after the first has been collected makes it much harder to collect all of them since much of the time that requires backtracking. Just surviving a level isn’t that difficult in the beginning, but completing all of the little side tasks, like collecting stars, is tricky.

IMG_1085Obstacles dot the levels in Tasty Tadpoles, such as green tadpoles that swim back and forth, yellow tadpoles that will chase the orange tadpole, whirlpools, and many others. The great variety of obstacles and level components, like buttons, kept the game interesting. The orange tadpole can also interact with other animals. For instance, there is a purple beetle that can be nudged.

The game has a second mode named Puzzle mode in which the number of taps is limited. The advantage to Puzzle mode is that all three stars are visible in at once. When all of the various obstacles and components are considered, along with the tap limit, Tasty Tadpoles can definitely be a tricky puzzle game.

Tasty Tadpoles has 75 levels in three different ponds, each with their own theme. There are also some things to unlock, like additional characters and challenges to complete. This app is an interesting puzzle game that’s also about timing and creative thinking, which helps set it apart from its competition.

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