Atari 2600 Friday’s #25 – Frogger
Everyone’s favorite road crossing toad. now if we only knew why.
The Story: Just a little frog trying to cross the road and river and get back to the swamp.
From the Manual: “Leapin’ Frogger! Home may look like it’s only a hop, skip, and a jump away, but looks can be deceiving. First, there’s a dangerous highway to hop across, full of fast-moving cars and trucks. Then there’s a swirling river to leap, full of frog-eating creatures. How’s Frogger going to get home safely? By letting you hop him on his way. Guide Frogger safely through this perilous journey, and you’ll jump for joy!”
From the Box: “It’s tough to be a frog! Life isn’t all lazy days and lil pads – it abounds with dangers. In fact, every leap Frogger takes could be his last! Can you help Frogger survive some perils, and hop Frogger home to safetly? First you have to jump Frogger across a very busy highway. Watch out for the trailer trucks! and all those cars – especially the speeding race cars! Then try to cross a fast-moving river. Keep an eye out for the “lady” frog. When you see her, get Frogger to help her home. If you do, you’ll earn bonus points! Jump Frogger carefully onto the diving turtles before they go under water! And don’t be fooled by the alligators that look like logs . . . Frogger is safe on their backs, but a free meal near their mouths! And then, at higher levels, there are frog-eating snakes! Watch out for them as they slither up and down the riverbank and logs in search of Frogger. Home at last! But look before you leap. If there’s a fly waiting, Frogger can gobble it up for extra points! But if there’s an alligator waiting, it’ll gobble Frogger! Get Frogger past all these obstacles and you’ll jump for joy!”
The Game Play: You must move Frogger from his starting position to one of the bays at the top of the screen withing 30 seconds. Time is monitored by the black bar at the bottom right of the screen. Remaining lives are the dots on the bottom left. You must hop Frogger through 5 lanes of traffic; and then 5 lanes of logs, turtles, and alligators. The alligators will eat Frogger if he gets close to the head, at higher difficulties snakes will join the fray and act the same. The circles are turtles, when blue they are underwater and unsafe to hop on. Every five frogs that make it home will increase the difficulty.
The Controls: Up/down/left/right move Frogger in their respective directions.
Post Review: It’s worth noting that even though it looks obvious that the bays you need to get Frogger to are the 4 green squares, that it the one time of the whole screen you want to hop into the water. Alligators wont show up until round two, which up to it is feasible to wait for the girl frog bonus points as she shows up every other rotation of her log set. I have been playing Frogger since I was a kid on PC, and while there are better versions of Frogger, the joystick feels nice.
The High Score: 798