Frogger 2 is the sequel to Hasbro's 1998 3D remake of the classic Atari arcade game, Frogger. The graphics, gameplay, and level design have all been improved over the 1998 game. The result is an engaging arcade-style action game based on very simple controls and play mechanics that should appeal to players looking for a traditional platform action game.
The game consists of more than 30 3D levels filled with enemies, obstacles, traps, and puzzles. In each level, five frog babies are waiting patiently to be rescued. Your mission is to rescue all five babies as quickly as possible in order to complete the level and move on to the next. Along the way you can collect extra lives, power-ups, and gold coins - all as you try to avoid the wide variety of mindless enemies and obstacles. In addition to the 30 basic levels, there are bonus retro levels that can be unlocked by collecting every gold coin in a particular level.
The graphics are colorful and highly detailed, and the animation runs smoothly, even when there are numerous moving obstacles and enemies onscreen. The camera follows you around at a good distance and gently makes the transitions between a third-person view in the three-dimensional areas and a top-down view in the flat areas. The sound is fairly simple, and while it isn't annoying, it doesn't add much to the game. The music is upbeat and somewhat reminiscent of the electronic music used in old arcade games. But sometimes it's less distracting to just turn the speakers off, if only to avoid the added frustration of hearing the same noise and music as you try to complete a level over and over.
There are three difficulty settings in the game: normal, which gives you a set number of lives and unlimited time to complete each level; easy, which gives you more starting lives and more bonus lives; and hard, which sets a time limit on each level.
The levels themselves are well designed and quite varied. Whether you're hopping through an ancient temple filled with Indiana Jones-style booby traps or finding your way through a maze in a futuristic lab, every level features several classic two-dimensional arcade-style challenges that are cleverly laid out in a three-dimensional world. The levels are built around a simple tile-based movement: You can move one space forward, backward, and to either side. You can also jump up and forward at the same time.
These simple controls let you focus on the occasionally frustrating traps and puzzles. In story mode, the game will automatically save your progress as you complete each level, and within individual games your progress is saved after you rescue each frog baby. This system helps alleviate some of the frustration that can arise after repeatedly trying to get past a certain level, since it's often not necessary to replay the entire level up to that point. In addition, amidst all the chaos and danger in each level, there are always havens where you can rest your fingers and plan your strategy to complete the challenge ahead.
Frogger 2's 30 unique and detailed levels, along with the additional bonus levels, characters, and features should provide many hours of entertainment for players looking for traditional arcade action. The game is enjoyable on several levels: The story mode lets you progress through the entire set of regular levels one at a time, but if you're looking for a quick game you can use the arcade mode to jump to any individual level that you've completed in the story mode. In addition, a multiplayer mode lets up to four players compete in a hot-seat match on the same computer. Advanced players can also try to beat their best times on specific levels by finding shortcuts and alternate routes and strategies to complete each level.
Frogger 2 improves upon almost every aspect of its predecessor and provides an up-to-date version of the classic arcade game. Its basic premise is its greatest weakness, for by re-creating the classic arcade game it has limited itself to a few basic controls and tile-based movement. Nevertheless, the game will appeal to players looking for fast, simple arcade action, and the many new twists on old puzzles will please fans of the original game.