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Surviving the evolutionary ladder with TaddyPole

TaddyPole is an educational game for Windows 10 where you are responsible for raising a family of tadpoles. Available for Windows 10 PC and Mobile, your task is to guide your infant tadpole around a pond, searching for food and avoiding dangers such as minnows and dragonfly nymphs.

The goal is to keep your tadpole safe and fed long enough for it to escape the clutches of the pond and evolve into a frog. Graphics are clean and colorful, controls could be a little better and while the educational game may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is a fun way to teach your children about the science of evolution.

TaddyPole

TaddyPole's primary menu presents you with options to jump into gameplay, view the local leaderboard, check out your achievements and view the developer credits. There is a mute button nestled in the lower left corner to allow you to, well, mute the game.

Gameplay with TaddyPole begins with a tutorial that walks you through hatching a tadpole, feeding the tadpole, the stages of evolution and eventually sending the developed frog to the shores of the pond. Once the tutorial is finished, TaddyPole transitions to the full game where the goal is to hatch and grow as many tadpoles as possible before the timer strike zero.

TaddyPole

The gaming screen has a meter tracking the evolutionary process at the top of the display, your score is in the upper left corner and the game timer spans the bottom of the display. Once you tap a tadpole egg to hatch, the timer begins and to move the tadpole around the pond, just tap on the screen where you want your tadpole to swim to. Holding down the screen allows you to control the tadpole's path as it swims.

The food sources available for the tadpole include algae and water fleas. The more food consumed, the more points earned and the faster the tadpole's transformation progresses. Dangers to avoid include minnows and dragonfly nymphs who can gobble up your young tadpole. Each game begins with your tadpole having the pond to itself with plenty of food lurking around the underwater plants. As you free frogs from the pond, the frequency of dangers in the pond increase.

TaddyPole

When the timer expires, TaddyPole sends you to a mini-game for bonus points. The mini-game has you jumping your frogs for the first time with the goal of landing it on a stack of sticks. The closer to the stack the frog lands (or even landing on the stack), the more points earned.

As you discover new food sources, predators or evolutionary stages you earn new achievements that are listed off the game's main menu. Tapping on an achievement generates a pop-up window with a snippet of information on that item. While the information is not an Encyclopedia Britannica, it provides enough to teach your child a thing or two. Maybe spark their interest where they hunt down an encyclopedia to learn more about science and biology.

While TaddyPole may not appeal to everyone, the Windows 10 game is a fun educational title to keep your children occupied for a while. My only nit with TaddyPole is that moving the tadpole around the pond isn't the easiest of tasks. All too often my finger got in the way and I could not see if I was swimming the tadpole into the mouth of a minnow. An optional on-screen joystick might solve this problem.

All in all, if you need to load your Windows 10 device with another educational game, TaddyPole is worth a try. The free game is available for Windows 10 PC and Mobile.

Download TaddyPole from the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

QR: TaddyPole

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

5 Comments
  • The easiest way to take care of a family of tadpoles is to do what I did and get a vasectomy.
  • Tadpoles turning into frogs isn't evolution, it's metamorphosis.
  • The definition of both words are acceptable in terms of tadpoles to frogs. Though in my opinion metamorphosis is more akin to something that goes dormant during hte change, such as a catapiller to a butterfly.
  • But the whole process is a result of evolution. Booya
  • Sounds like a fun way to teach developmental biology, ie the life cycle of the frog, and some basic ecology. However, as described, the game has nothing at all to do with evolution, which is a process that involves genetic changes to the species, not the story of how an individual grows and passes through developmental stages. Sounds like a nice educational game though!