Frogger Review

Frogger offers many of the same features you've come to expect if you're familiar with the other classic arcade games on Xbox Live Arcade.

Frogger is a classic arcade game, originally released to arcades in 1981. The premise is simple. You, as a frog, must hop across a busy road and then hop across a log-and-turtle-filled river to get to a home base at the top of the screen. Getting hit by cars, jumping into the water, and getting eaten by otters or snakes are the sorts of things you want to try to avoid. Now, that arcade classic is available on the Xbox 360. It's a mostly faithful emulation of the arcade original with a few interesting updates that should please fans of the series.

Flop your magic twanger, Froggy.
Flop your magic twanger, Froggy.

Like many of the other Digital Eclipse-developed Xbox Live Arcade games, Frogger defaults to an enhanced mode, which offers somewhat-more-modern graphics and sound. If you can't stand those graphics and the updated music, you can opt for the original look and sound instead. It's a pretty accurate emulation of the arcade game, but for some reason, the music has all been changed, even if you're playing on the original setting. The classic Frogger opening music is gone, and no music plays while you hop around. It's an odd change, and it detracts from the authenticity of the package a bit. Perhaps it's based on some alternate version of the arcade game, but it's not the music heard in the Buckner & Garcia "classic," "Froggy's Lament." So it's not canon.

The control in Frogger is limited to the four compass directions, making the D pad a fine choice for control, though you can use the analog stick, if you'd like. Either method works well. In addition to playing in arcade mode, you can play with another player online. But this isn't the same two-player alternating play found in the original arcade version. Two games of Frogger run simultaneously, side by side. We played in a number of online games and found each and every one of them to be at least slightly laggy, which causes the whole game to slow down a bit and makes your control a little less responsive. As you might imagine, that's annoying.

You can play in a couple of different modes online, including a co-op mode that has both players contributing to the same score. One of the game's achievements requires you to get 30,000 points in this co-op mode. The rest of the achievements are pretty straightforward and include finishing levels up through level five, eating a set number of bugs, finishing level three without losing a life, and more. Dedicated Frogger players will have most of the game's achievement points in an hour or two.

Going for the same 400-point, five-dollar price that's being charged for the other classic games on Xbox Live Arcade, Frogger is a good deal for fans of the original, though it would be better if the online went a little more smoothly, and yes, the original music would help, too.

The Good

  • Mostly accurate emulation of the original game
  • Interesting online modes
  • The price is right

The Bad

  • Online mode is usually sluggish
  • The original music is missing

About the Author

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.