Frogger is back in Konami’s retro-themed Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition, available for iOS and Android devices.
This arcade redux features the return of classic Frogger gameplay, however with subpar controls and only marginally enhanced levels, players both old and new will find the Hyper Arcade Edition to be a mixed bag.
Despite the title, there’s nothing “hyper” about this Frogger. The overall gameplay is downright sluggish. For a game about a frog risking its life running over multiple lanes of blacktop, there’s never a real sense of speed or panic. Instead, cars and obstacles march in dull, robotic time across the screen. There’s a slight uptick in speed as the levels progress, but the overall style of play remains slow and methodical.
The game loses the most points in the control department. The touch motions are finicky at best, with the game’s all-important forward movement swipe being especially tough to nail down. Players will find that a swipe gesture that works ten times may suddenly not work on the eleventh, sending your frog to that great lily pad in the sky. In a game like Frogger, where precision movement is everything, stop-and-go controls make for a frustrating experience.
Also contrary to the title, this version of Frogger does not include the original arcade game. There’s a Classic Mode option that mimics the nuts and bolts of Frogger’s old school gameplay– navigate a pixelated amphibian across a busy street without getting squashed by cars or semi-trucks– but it’s not a full port of the arcade version. With isometric graphics, different sound effects, and its own control scheme, Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition feels like its own animal. The end result is something that can best be described as Frogger-ish.
On the positive side, Konami did pack in a good amount of extras into Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition. Alternate modes such as “Paint” and “Frogger Freak Out” remix the standard gameplay and offer new challenges. Also included are several graphic overlays that change the look and feel of the game, including homages to other Konami hits like Castlevania and DDR Karaoke Revolution. The best of these is the Hyper skin, which renders the screen in Tron-like vector graphics and looks great on mobile screens. Konami’s also loaded the game with a number of music tracks to play in the background. One imagines that electro tracks with names like “Atomic Tadpole” are included to amp players up in the heat of frantic gameplay. It’s a shame that level of excitement never comes to fruition.
Warts and all, Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition may still appeal to hardcore fans of the 1981 classic, despite the altered gameplay and presentation. New players expecting a fun, fully-developed retro revamp ala Namco’s Pac Man Championship Edition DX may want to save their credits though– This Frogger doesn’t have legs.