Our reviewer Matthew Uffindell delves into his software library for this month’s reappraisal as he hops onto FROGGY, the most engaging Frogger for the Spectrum, a game by D.J.L. Software.
As long as you can go along with the fact that frogs drown if they fall in the river, then as a game type ‘Froggers’ have a lot going for them. The object of the game is to guide your frog across a busy road without getting squashed under the vehicles, and then across the river on logs and turtle backs without falling off, getting eaten by crocodiles or run off the screen edge and so into a frog home on the far bank.
On the road in this version, there are trucks and much faster hot rods to leap between. The river has four lanes alternating between logs and rows of turtles, each moving in the opposite direction to the other. You must hop from one to the other without falling into the river. The turtles have a nasty habit of submerging, and if this happens while you are riding on one, you will lose a life if you don’t jump across to a log in time.
Once onto the last lane (logs) you must jump neatly into one of the five frog homes. A miss-jump loses a life — a successful one results in a large smiling frog in his home. Every now and then a baby frog appears, floating down the river on a log and crying out for you to rescue it. To do this you must jump onto the log carrying him and let it leap up onto your back. If you get him safely home a bonus of 200 points is awarded.
As the game goes on more hazards appear, such as alligators in the river and snakes on the bank of the river. The game will also speed up as each screen is cleared, until the maximum speed is reached on screen 7. Turtles also get scarcer and the logs get smaller in size. The entire game is played against the clock — about 25 seconds is allowed to get a frog across and home on screen one but this reduces with each screen. There is also a demo mode and a hall of fame.
This game is a very good copy of the arcade original and is very well produced. When I first saw it I thought the character block movement would spoil the game, but I was proved wrong. It is very addictive and enjoyable to play. This must be the best ‘Frogger’ around and I would recommend it to anyone. The game plays with a Kempston joystick (load one side of tape) or cursor keys (load other side of tape) and so cursor key joysticks like Protek and AGF. Use of colour and sound is excellent as are the instructions and general presentation.