Living Guide to Spectrum Software


Having become fed up with decimating aliens, the arcade copiers turned to more domestic chores like squashing frogs under lorries. The game requires you to hop a frog across a busy highway, avoiding certain death under the wheels. Sit on a river bank avoiding the odd snake or two and take a chance of crossing the river on the back of turtles and logs, then leap to the safety of a frog home. No one’s ever explained why frogs should drown in the river — still... On the whole the game provides more interest, better graphics and a more addictivity than most arcade copies. Joysticks are more than useful. As with pacman games and centipede games there is usually very little between any version.

Producer: A&F, 48K £5.75
This company always produce charming graphics and their Frogger is no exception, as 48K would suggest. All the standard features.

Producer: Rabbit, 16K £5.99
Rabbit provide a four lane highway to cross, a barrier and a river full of logs and crocodiles. Here you may use the crocs for jumping on, but if you land too near the mouth you will lose a life. Three lives, but you must get five frogs safely across before moving to the next screen for faster traffic and more crocs. Cursor keys and user-defined, so you can get practically any joystick to work. Good value.

Producer: Anirog, 16K £4.95
Machine code and attractive graphics and good sound. Features snakes on the bank, logs, turtles, crocodiles and lady frogs to rescue for extra points. At its price, pretty good value.

Producer: DJL, 16K £5.95
A highly rated version with very busy 3-lane highway, turtles that sink under your weight, crocodiles in the frog homes and five lives. There’s a time limit too which can be very cruel. For extra points there’s a stranded frogling to rescue. Four skill levels and seven speeds. Joystick: Kempston, or AGF and Protek on the cursor keys. Recommended.

Producer: Severn, 48K, £4.95
Unfortunately, none of our reviewers have seen this game yet, so we’ll try and catch up with the joggers another time.

Producer: CDS, 16K £5.95
This is a standard version which offers the usual hazards but adds a snake on the bank if you linger too long, and dragonflies in the frog homes for extra points. Attractive graphics but it’s a bore waiting for that damned tune between each game. Uses cursor keys, so Protek and AGF joystick interfaces maybe used.

Producer: Ocean, 16K £5.90
Ocean’s version doesn’t have turtles (probably went on strike) but some of the logs sink, and there are snakes on the bank. Six frogs to get safely home for a second screen and the traffic moving faster. Unlike some versions you can only go forward. No joystick option.

Producer: DK Tronics, 16K £4.95
Marketed by DK and made by Elfin, Road Toad is a frogger by any other name. The graphics are okay but the hazards aren’t that keen, and the sound is poor. There are better and more addictive versions available.

Producer: Virgin Games, 16K £5.95
Author: Terry Murray/Roy Poole
In the main, Virgin’s first batch of games were pretty poor and madly overpriced (£7.95). Now they’ve brought the price down, but frankly this still isn’t good value. You are supposed to ‘yomp’ your Paras over the highway and then get them through a minefield. There’s no disguising the fact that this is a frogger game with ‘mined-out’ pretensions. The basic program makes controlling movement very difficult and the way the traffic moves along the highway makes it almost unplayable. Only one moment in the repeating cycle can get your men through safely. In the minefield movement sensors mean sudden death through mistakes, but I wonder how many people will even bother getting there? Four skill levels, no joystick option.