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Frogger Decades Review

By Dave Flodine, on September 5, 2011


Frogger Decades
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Many uses of tapping and swiping.
  • There's a power-up that turns you back into the original Frogger sprite.
  • Catchy level music.

CONS

  • The controls aren't distinct enough, and you'll find yourself doing things you didn't want to.
  • Hit detection is a little unfair.
  • I've never understood why in a game starring a Frog, water will kill you.

VERDICT

Frogger Decades takes the classic Frogger gameplay and creates a campaign out of it, but even though the various additions are neat, the game might have suffered less if the character had stuck to just jumping.


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Updates of a classic arcade game can be a tricky balancing act. You're trying to entice fans of the original so the gameplay needs to be very similar, yet to bring in new fans, it has to be different enough to warrant a look. Frogger Decades comes very close to this balance but ultimately falls a bit short.

The game is based around the jumping mechanic which is handled by swiping on the right side of the screen. Want to jump in a certain direction, just swipe there and Frogger will hop on his merry way. As you hop through the levels, avoiding enemies and eating flies to keep the countdown timer from running out, other forms of hopping are introduced like jumping in place or a giant leap. These are handled by swiping and tapping on other parts of the screen, and here's where the controls become a problem. Often when you want to extend your tongue or charge up a leap, the game will misinterpret your input and you'll find yourself jumping into the river or an enemy. This would be a lot more frustrating if it wasn't for the game's quick loading and generous checkpoint and recovery system, but an annoyance is still an annoyance.

The game uses a mix of 2D gameplay with 3D sprites and a camera that has limited zoom and turn controls. There's some nice color, but sometimes it's a little difficult to see what is a barrier, what can be climbed on top of, and what's on ground level. The music is surprisingly catchy, but as it's only featured in small loops, wears a little thin after a while.

For a game that's supposed to celebrate Frogger's 30th birthday, Konami didn't do too bad a job. The core jumping gameplay is there, and while the additions can be annoying, Frogger fans should see how a game they remember so fondly will be attracting a younger audience of Frogger fans.

Screenshots

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