In the jungle, only the strong survive. I guess that's true in ponds, too. In Tasty Tadpoles, the first solo iOS release from developer Mark White, strength doesn't mean being bigger or stronger, but rather being faster and more clever than your enemies. If you aren't, you'll find your cute little tadpole becoming nothing more than an afternoon snack.
The goal in Tasty Tadpoles is to collect 3 stars and make it to the exit without getting eaten. Tap anywhere on the screen and your tadpole will zip right to that spot. You'll need to collect the first star before revealing the location of the second, and then collect that one to reveal the location of the third.
With various kinds of enemies swimming around, there's almost a puzzle-like aspect to Tasty Tadpoles as you decide the best path and timing to take to collect all the stars, as well as make it to the exit safely. Different kinds of enemies have different attacks, and some special items, like a protective bubble, will need to be utilized to be successful.
One thing worth mentioning is that Tasty Tadpoles is a GameSalad game. That used to mean an instant skip from me, but really GameSalad has come a long way the past year or two, and some developers are able to utilize the tool extremely well. In terms of visuals, sound, and presentation, you wouldn't even know that Tasty Tadpoles is a GameSalad game. Everything is top-notch.
However, the one thing that is driving me nuts is the loading. GameSalad loads often and slowly. On some of the later, trickier levels you'll be dying incessantly as you try to figure out the right solution. Having to wait for the game to load for a few seconds every time you retry wears thin quickly. It's a minor annoyance, but I could definitely do without it.
Other than that, though, Tasty Tadpoles seems like a cute arcade-puzzler. The beginning levels are kind of a breeze, but it ramps up nicely in terms of difficulty as you go, and a few of the later levels have been rather tricky. It'll be launching later tonight for a buck, so check the early impressions in the forums for more and add it to your Watch List in the TouchArcade [Free] app to get an alert when it releases.
International App Store Link: Tasty Tadpoles, 99¢ (Universal)
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