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toadled review binge on everything


When a toad wakes up with an empty belly, nothing is off the menu. Rudder Games’ newest title Toadled went into Steam’s beta testing this past week, and the shoot ”˜em up (lick ”˜em up?) is full of amusing and ridiculous humor that has great potential in any arcade.

The game’s premise is obvious enough: you’re a hungry toad named Toad, and you need to lick up all the yummy critters drawn towards your weirdly magnetic mouth. The more you eat, the bigger Toad gets, until he reaches a stage where his body mutates into something large enough to swallow even larger prey. The first few stages are pretty tame, but after a while Toad gains a pretty exotic appetite: helicopters, nukes, skyscrapers, islands, even planets are just a light snack for this future Consumer of the Universe. With 10 stages in all, Toad goes from being a tiny little amphibian, to the size of a planet.

Apart from animals/people/massive objects to munch on, Toad will be bombarded by hundreds of coins he can collect to upgrade himself. The coin upgrades help a lot in the first few stages, but by the time you’re swallowing mountains you’ll either be too good to bother with them, or you’ll be relentlessly using them as a crutch. Either way, there just comes a time in the later stages where not even your own screw-ups can cause you to lose. Like the great Toad himself, you become unstoppable!


The music is one of Toadled’s best features. Starting with a fun and adventurous xylophone, the tunes follow Toad’s transformation from a tiny critter, to a human-eating blob, to a smiley Godzilla, and finally to Planet Toad. After every major growth spurt, the music gets more ominous and dramatic, adding that extra kick to the humor that’ll make you think “Good God, what am I playing?”

Unfortunately, Toadled’s replay value is incredibly low. Most achievements can be accomplished within the first or second play through of any particular stage, and while the Survival mode can be a good way to test your bullet hell skills, it’s not really enough to hold interest for long. In the end, Toadled makes for a great arcade game””and the coin price for continuing a stage indicates that’s what it could someday become””but a personal copy probably won’t keep players interested for long.

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