Parents' Guide to

Tadpole Treble Encore

By Paul Semel, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Relaxing, slightly repetitive game still makes a fun splash.

Game Nintendo Switch 2021
Tadpole Treble Encore Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 1 parent review

age 5+

Game Expands Genre in a Refreshing way

I played Tadpole Treble back when it was only on Steam and Wii U. Back then I thought it was the bee's knees. It was a blast by a comic creator that knew a thing or two about humor, art, and fun (and his brother!). The game returns with an extra level, extra features, and portability now. It's a rhythm game that's a bit different. You play as a tadpole (Baton) able to move freely up and down between the parts of a musical staff as you move automatically forwards or, in one level, backwards. Your goal is to complete levels on the quest to find your way back home. On the way, there are unique challenges and well-designed levels. There are even optional challenges! Unfortunately, in the process, one major feature was cut: The ability to share Composition Mode levels with others via QR codes or otherwise. To be fair, Composition Mode is basically a bare-bones "Mario Maker" style mode that is fun but simple. And you can only save 12 songs at a time. But what is there is brilliant. Short, fun, well-priced and filled with before said optional challenges that extend the fun. You can even be rewarded for deliberately getting the worst possible rank upon completing a level! I highly recommend the game to those who like unique games, rhythm games, or family-friendly games. The music is great (included some fully-voiced tunes (Thunder Creek will be in your head for a while)), and the water is fine.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Though it may be too simple for some, this side-scrolling arcade game will delight both kids and their old school gamer parents. In Tadpole Treble Encore -- which is a remake of 2016's Tadpole Treble -- players have to help a tadpole survive the hazardous waters ahead. A side-scrolling arcade game, players steer the tadpole past such hazards as sharp black notes (which look like landmines), hungry fish, and bamboo poles, while also trying to pop some air bubbles along the way. The tadpole can also use his tail to smack larger bubbles and those aforementioned poles. Accompanying him on his journey is a pleasant musical soundtrack that, oddly, is triggered by the bad black notes? That's weird.

Where things get clever is when the tadpole has to share space with large wildlife that may not have a hankering for frogs' legs, but aren't particularly interested in keeping him alive either. In one early instance, a large fish swims ahead of the tadpole, blocking his view, making it harder for him to see where there's bad notes and good bubbles. And it just gets tougher from there. As clever as the stages may get, though, the basic gameplay doesn't change that radically, so some players may find it gets redundant after a while. That's even if they get really good as using the game's editor to make their own courses. But for people who aren't looking for a challenge that rivals what real tadpoles have to deal with in the wild, Tadpole Treble Encore can be as fun and relaxing as a nice swim upstream.

Game Details

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: BitFinity
  • Release date: January 21, 2021
  • Genre: Arcade
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: E
  • Last updated: April 5, 2021

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate