Frogger Review

Frogger is one of those gaming archetypes that has remained basically unaltered since it made its coin-op debut.

Why has it taken this long for Frogger to hit the Game Boy? You would think that with all the other old arcade conversions to have come out, Frogger would have been given the Game Boy treatment ages ago. Some would say that good things come to those who wait, while others would argue that things that are almost 20 years old aren't good anymore.

Frogger is one of those gaming archetypes that has remained basically unaltered since it made its coin-op debut, which, as last year's unsuccessful PC and PlayStation remix proved, is for a reason. The aim of the game is to get five frogs to their homes at the top of the screen within a specified time limit. In between you and your goal is a highway full of speeding motor vehicles and a river that contains moving logs, turtles, and nasty crocodiles. You must navigate your way to the top of the screen without getting run over by cars, bitten by snakes, drowning in the water (how? can't frogs swim?), or otherwise coming to harm. Bonuses are awarded for collecting other frogs that are stranded on logs, collecting butterflies, and getting your frog home with plenty of time remaining. Once all the frog homes are filled, the level is complete, and you're whisked away to the next stage, which is mainly identical except the difficulty level increases slightly.

And that's Frogger, basically. While it's good to see the original gameplay intact, it's a bit much to ask Game Boy owners to shell out money for what is basically an above-average conversion of an ancient arcade game. Admittedly, the good use of color makes Frogger look pretty close to the original, but you can't escape the nagging feeling that more could have been done with the graphics. Sprites lack animation, and the presentation is minimal at best, with drab title screens and incredibly sparse music pieces, which are note-for-note renditions of the coin-op's soundtrack. This sensation of disappointment extends to the levels, which don't offer much in the way of variation - just the same highway/river layout over and over again, with increasingly fast objects and new unfriendly creatures. Not straying from the original design is one thing, but a complete lack of imagination is another.

Sure, Frogger is still immensely playable. It's one of those games that you get a little bit further into each time, and each session teaches small strategies and tips that make getting your name on the high-score table easier. The sheer addictiveness of the game makes it very easy to fall into the "just one more game" trap, while the simple design lets anyone play for five minutes while waiting for the bus. Those two elements are the hallmarks of a classic Game Boy game and make Frogger, despite some drawbacks, a recommended purchase.

The Good

  • N/A

The Bad

About the Author