Have you ever played as a tadpole in a game? Have you ever eaten flies? In this fun, fast-paced game for both Android and iOS phones and tablets you get to do both.

It might sound odd to put old fashioned 8-bit-style graphics on a high-end smartphone with an HD resolution screen, but retro style games are really popular. In this one you control a tadpole. The strange thing is that it climbs out of the water and up the nearest plant. It also has a long sticky tongue with which to catch flies and drag itself up the plant. The story would make a lot more sense if it were a frog because that is exactly what frogs do.

It doesn’t really matter what the character is. The phone is held in portrait mode and you climb up the screen as it scrolls down by tapping on the plant buds and flowers above you. The tadpole's tongue flies out and pulls you up.

As you progress up the screen there are flies buzzing around and on the plant. These can be eaten by tapping them. Bonus items also float down the screen and can be caught by tapping on them, causing the tadpole’s sticky tongue to shoot out and grab them

Tadpole Tap for Android . Tadpole Tap for Android

The game starts off quite easy and slowly, but as you progress it becomes harder. Bright and shiny objects, whose nature is undefined, kill you when touched and you must avoid them. Some parts of the plant you land on will disappear and some kill you. You must therefore be careful to select the next location to tap and jump to.

Once you have progressed a little, it starts raining and this causes the water level in the pond below to rise. It contains piranha and if the water rises up to you, you will be eaten. This means that you must go faster and faster to keep ahead of the rising water level, but obstacles in the way can catch you out if you aren’t careful in selecting your path. The action becomes faster and more hectic as you work through the level.

Tadpole Tap for Android . Tadpole Tap for Android

Eating flies as you travel enables you to do two things. One is to revive your tadpole when it is killed and this enables you to continue playing from where you left off. The other is to buy powerups. For example, you can buy invincibility, double flies, a magnet (to attract flies), transform obstacles ahead, and so on.

In app purchases enable you to buy packs of flies, but there are ways of getting free ones. In the game you can snap them up of course, but you can also earn flies by watching adverts in the form of short video clips.

Progress far enough and more tadpoles can be unlocked. Each of them has a special ability that enables you to conquer the next part of the game.

This is the sort of game where you can load it up, play it for 10 or 15 minutes, and then put it down. It is best in small doses rather than a two hour gaming session. It is maddening and infuriating, and it has that one-more-go addictive quality as you try to beat your high score. It has some great music too.

I played the Android version on a Samsung Galaxy S4 and it was great. There is an iOS version for the iPhone and iPad too. Get Tadpole Tap, you won’t be disappointed.

Title: Tadpole Tap (Android | iOS)
Price: Free
Developer: Outerminds Inc.
Size: 28MB Android | 62MB iOS
Requires: Android 2.3.3 and up | iOS 7.0 and later