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Rhythm games are wonderful. Whether it’s a console game like Rock Band or a mobile game like Shining Live, there’s something fun (and fantastically frustrating) about trying to bang out tunes without missing a beat. However, some rhythm games turn away from the traditional “press the button on time” gameplay and opt for something with a little more action. Tadpole Treble Encore goes this more action-packed route, and boy, was that fantastic decision.
Tadpole Treble Encore follows the journey of Baton, a young tadpole trying to find her way home after being swept away from her little pond. You travel through multiple areas, each modeled after a different type of watery ecosystem, such as bayous and jungle rivers. Each area comes with its own set of enemies, like piranhas and barracudas. Biodiversity is a good thing!
There are two modes available. The first is adventure mode, which follows Baton’s story and showcases the music of the game. As you swim, you make music by avoiding rocks and enemies and slapping bamboo sticks with your tail. You’ll also run across bubbles, which you can eat to restore health, purchase items, and unlock things. These are important, because some levels will be a real hit to your health at first, and once your health bar runs out, you’ll have to restart the level from the beginning. Try to collect as many bubbles as you can!
The second mode is composition mode. Here, you’ll be able to make your own songs and play through them. You have everything at your disposal to make music in this mode, including all sorts of instruments and obstacles, so you can make it as easy or as difficult to get through as you want. This mode is so much fun to play with that it might be the highlight of the game for many.
In many ways this mode reminded me of the SNES classic Mario Paint and I spent hours just messing around, making silly and impossible levels. It was a great time, and I highly recommend trying your hand at it!
You might be wondering about the music, with this being a rhythm game and all. Well, the music is amazing! Each area has a distinct sound, and the styles are pretty diverse. There’s a little techno in one area, a little jazz in the next, and a little classical flare in yet another. The songs are fun to listen to, and you never mind hearing them over and over when you have to restart levels. The game also has adorable graphics, and the environments are full of little details that make them so charming, such as the giant salamanders on the floor of the bayou level.
Tadpole Treble Encore is a charming rhythm game with fun (and sometimes challenging) gameplay, wonderful music, and adorable graphics. The gameplay is a little different from most rhythm games, as you do more maneuvering and less timing specific tapping, but this actually makes things more engaging. The addition of the composition mode is also fantastic, and it’s so much fun to play around with that it borders on dangerous (because it’ll suck you in for hours). If you fancy yourself a composer, or you just love rhythm games with funky tunes, then hop to playing this refreshing title.