Frogger DecadesPlatform: iPhone/iPod
Category: Action Games
Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment
Frogger Decades for iOS, provided to me by Konami, celebrates Frogger's 30th anniversary. At its core, it features the same idea that Frogger has always had. However, it adds many things, iterating on the classic in a respectful way. I like where they took it.
Graphics and Sound
Frogger Decades is polished fairly well. It features colorful graphics with no glitches that I ever saw. The game also has multiple environments and enemies, all uniquely designed. While it didn't amaze me, it had decent music and sound effects as well. What really struck me as a cool idea was the main "menu." Rather than a simple menu, it's Frogger's room. Trophies on the wall represent achievements and leaderboards, the TV represents the actual game, etc.
The core game mechanic is the same as it always has been. Cross the screen. Don't get hit. However, this is just the basics. Frogger can be controlled using either an on-screen D-pad or touch controls. This is one of those rare games in which the touch controls work better. In fact, I'd say they work really well. Just swipe in the direction in which you want to hop, and Frogger will go for it. The game features a variety of levels such as a forest, city, and more. Dodge cars to get across. Dodge cats to get across. Dodge rats to get across. You get the picture.
In addition to crossing the screen, you'll want to eat flies. As the screen slowly scrolls, you'll need to choose. Do you stop to get that fly, or do you keep moving? It's easy early in the game to get all the flies, but later it gets harder. There are definitely puzzle elements to Frogger Decades as well. Frogger has a few more tricks up his sleeve than regular old hops to solve them, too. He can now do a high jump into the air to reach flies that are high above. This jump takes some time to complete, so it is a trade off. He can also perform long jumps to get across pits. Finally, he can shoot out his tongue. This is useful to collect flies, but more importantly, it allows him to activate switches and to grab boxes to slide them around. This is vital to solving puzzles and navigating mazes. I was actually quite surprised by the depth of the puzzles offered.
Decades features three game modes. The first, Story Mode, contains the meat of the game. It also introduces the story: The game opens with a little cutscene. Frogger's friends leave him a happy birthday note on this door. It shows a map of the area with a line showing him a path from his house to his gift. The bad guy comes and alters the map to take him through treacherous areas. When Frogger finds the note, he's oblivious to the changes and sets off to get his present. Story mode tasks you with progressing through each level sequentially. In Time Attack, you're able to select any level you've already finished in Story Mode. Here you'll want to beat the level as fast as possible. Of course, it tracks your high score for you! Finally, there's Forever Mode. You get one life and try to travel as far as you can. I love this one!
Frogger Decades is an enjoyable reimagining of a gaming classic. It didn't add anything completely amazing, but it did take the classic gameplay and threw in some twists. My biggest complaint is that it didn't include the original game! Currently it's $0.99 on the App Store. If you enjoyed the original, you'll want to give this a try. Just keep in mind it can be quite challenging!