Frogger
In the 1980's arcade machines, you could play the role of  just about anything.  From a chef to a zookeeper to a bullfighter, the possibilities were endless.  But how many people thought about being a frog?  Especially a frog that was afraid of water.  Well, Frogger offered you a chance to be a frog and try to get home.  Next to Pacman and Space Invaders, this was probably the most copied game.  It appeared on just about every home console and had tons of clones.

There are two things that really made Frogger an instant hit.  The first is the simple gameplay.  Anyone can learn to play Frogger.  It's difficulty level is set that anyone can beat a level or two, but it takes some skill to get much further.  The other big draw was the catchy music.  Don't believe me on the music?  Try playing the awful Super Nintendo version where there is no music.  It is hard to think such a small thing would ruin the game, but it does.  Majesco should have been smacked across the heads for releasing that version.  But I digress. 

The game is as simple as possible.  You are a frog and you need to go home.  Five times you need to go home to be exact.  But for some reason, you decided to live in the most dangerous area.  Your frog has to cross a busy highway and then cross a treacherous river to get home.  Why a frog would need to leave the pond anyway is never explained.  Just like it is never explained why water kills your frog.  Video games do not always use logic.  But anyway, your frog needs to get across the highway with cards zipping by.  It is five lane highway with cars going in different directions.  Literally.  Every lane goes in a different direction.  I do not know who designed this ridiculous highway, but I am guessing they were either very sadistic or under the influence.

While the highway can be treacherous, especially on later levels when cars ready speed up and the traffic gets heavier, it is nothing compared to the river.  Some call it a pond, but ponds do not have moving water.  Rivers do.  But then rivers do not have water moving in different directions.  Again, the game defies logic for the sake of entertainment.  In this part, you must go from log to log until you reach your hole.  Jump in and you are safe.  Then you only have four more frogs to get across.  Easy right?  On the first level, it is pretty easy.  There are logs and turtles you can jump on and the turtles, but beware as the turtles can dive underwater and take you with them.  Now why is it that turtles and alligators can live in the water, but you cannot?  I once thought it was toxic water and it would kill the frog, but it doesn't affect the other animals.  I guess your frog just never learned to swim.  Which makes you wonder why they would make their home next to a river.

Later in the game, you get a few new challenges.  From killer alligators who both ride down the river and also pop up in your home to a nasty snake and a killer otter.  You can also save a female frog and take her home.  And then there is the fly.  Many a player died in the attempt to get bonus points for eating the fly.  Don't bother with it, it is a trap.  Sure, you get points for eating the fly, but it randomly pops up in one of your houses and is never there for more than a few seconds.  Unless you are right there, you will miss it.  And most likely you will end up dying trying to get to the fly. 

Frogger is a simple game.  This is also part of the reason why it has remained popular.  From the basic controls to the perfectly ramped up difficulty level to the addictive music, it is truly a classic.  But keep in mind that you need a four way joystick to really master it.  I play it on my eight way Devastator (had to go eight way, my two favorite games are eight way - Crazy Climber and Robotron) and while I can do well, I still make mistakes that I would not make at the arcade.  I played it over the summer at Cedar Point and scored nearly 20,000 points, which is almost double my best score at home.  So when you want a fun game that only takes about ten minutes to play and even less to learn, Frogger is a great choice.  Just be prepared to have that song playing in your head all day long.

This is just a review of the arcade machine.  If you are looking for the actual arcade machine, you may want to check out ebay.  Click below to see if you can find this game.

 

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Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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