An Early Look at Frogger

VGS gets a look at the future of leaping frogs.


VGS received an early alpha version of Hasbro Interactive's 32-bit take on the classic arcade game Frogger this week.

Unlike in the 80s Konami arcade game (with simple, but fun, 2-D highways and rivers to navigate in order to win the game), players will maneuver in an immersive 3-D world filled with the same snakes, turtles, and vehicles they have come to know and hate, adding twists and turns through that extra dimension of depth. Not to mention a multiplayer race option as opposed to the traditional tag-team hip-hopping they had to deal with in round one.

The first three levels of the game will probably seem familiar, though they are fully 3-D polygonal, since they are updated environments from the original game. (Hopefully, some of the scenes or characters from the hard-to-find Frogger II: Three-Deep! title will be hidden features somewhere inside!) You'll snake through traffic, and maybe, just maybe, be able to leap over the cars this time.

The river concept will be easy enough to pick up. You'll jump from log to turtle to log, avoiding the disappearing turtles and making sure not to land in the water. You'll also have lily pads, keeping true to natural frog habitats. However, don't look for the same linear scrolling. The logs and chains of turtles will bend around corners, giving you different paths to select from, disorienting you at every turn. And while the game's producer said he was careful to maintain the Frogger "feel" in the gameplay, you might have to get used to a little hang time as the amphibious 3-D creature actually leaps full-on into the air, arching instead of moving just forward and back between properties.

Once you're ready to leave the tadpole stage, you'll enter levels that test your 3-D navigational aptitude in ways such as having to dodge fast-moving steer in a stampede and safely pass through mountain boulders crashing on players' path. Of course, the old frog probably wouldn't last too long in these environs. That's why you'll be given special superfrog abilities such as super jumps, a heat-seeking tongue, and the industrious power croak.

But all of that aside, what's really cool is that you'll no longer have to wait your turn when you're playing against someone else. Up to four people will be able to race to collect all the baby frogs at the top of the screen. The Frogger aficionado may think this sounds like a breeze, but in the true nature of a multiplayer game, it's not just a race to accomplish a goal; you'll be able to leap on top of other frogs, and they won't be able to move until you do. Keep in mind, of course, that your opponents can do the same to you.

Frogger will be available for the Sony PlayStation in October.

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