After the first of several hours with Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition, I shrugged and realized that there wasn’t much to write about the game. This is because it doesn’t take long to realize that developer Zombie Studios’ Pac Man Championship-esque take on Frogger is simple and, unlike many previous Frogger games, is quite good
I didn’t have a particular interest in playing another Frogger game, but I found myself swept up by the game after several grungy, aurally viscous dubstep remixes of Frogger tunes and a few smart game modes.
One multiplayer mode has you “painting” the arena with your frog to earn points. Make it to the finish line and your tiles are locked into your color, unable to be reclaimed by other players. If you die at the hands of the usual obstacles still populating the map, your tiles are up for grabs by other players. Some sinister power ups add some variety by allowing players to freeze other frogs in place – often in front of speeding cars – or temporarily switch around their controls.
Other modes have you doing things like controlling two frogs that mirror each others’ movement. Another has you rushing against the clock to collect haphazardly scattered pink frogs to build your score before you make a frantic [hopping] dash to the end.
By themselves, these modes aren’t quite interesting enough to entertain me for long, but the strongest part of the game, aside from Classic Frogger mode, is a mash up mode that has you alternating between game types every few minutes. It’s a mode that begs for multiplayer support beyond the initial offering of up to four local players, though this could be forgotten by adding a few beers and good friends to the mix. It’s a real shame, though, that you have to put up with a five second loading screen between the each stage of this mode where every player is treated to a spinning disc icon and the absence of the game’s great music.
Developer Zombie Studios has added some flavor beyond just the delightfully crafted retro and techno remixes of Frogger themes. The playing field can be reskinned in the style of classic 8-bit Frogger and, surprisingly, Castlevania, Dance Dance Revolution, or Contra. The Castlevania skin repopulates the game board with skulls and fire, DDR has you dodging neon arrows, while Contra is definitely the favorite; it has you hopping from pieces of broken Contra landscape while dodging somersaulting Contra enemies and the ridiculously animated running Contra men. It’s an adorable touch that, combined with the solid mix of music and game modes, gives this game merit and a big warm feeling far beyond what you’d expect from a Frogger game in 2012.
For ten bucks, this game is worth a shot.
- Excellent soundtrack
- Control schemes let you use buttons, which is a great way to avoid the horrible directional pad on the Xbox 360 controller
- Good visual style with meaningful variations in themes, from 8-bit to Contra
- The mash-up of all the game types is fun…
- …but suffers from the awkwardly long loading screen that really kills the pace
- Online play would have been nice
The Xbox Live version of this game was provided by the publisher for the review. Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition is also available on Playstation Network, iOS, and Wii Shop.