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SummaryNot just an ordinary frog
The GoodNowadays you can pick up most games that look like they were developed for 16-bit consoles. One such game is Frogatto & Friends, a cutesy platformer that has fantastic graphics and great sound.
You play the titular frog who sets out to explore each of the game's many environments and meet anyone that gives him advice on getting to Milgram, the game's antagonist. Each environment ranges from coastal area to forests to dungeons, and each environment is inhabited by creatures specific to each one. Frogatto can deal with them by jumping on the heads, or sucking the creatures up with his tongue and spitting them out at other creatures that is in his vicinity. What's good is that the tongue-suck not only works with creatures, but with keys and other objects as well.
You can enter many cottages early in the game and offer help to the occupant by retrieving what they want. Each of the cottages are clean and laid out nicely, with gadgets and furniture in the appropriate rooms. You can press the up arrow key to start a conversation, and the way the game zooms in on the conversation is quite nice. There are interesting gestures that Frogatto makes that are worth looking at more than once. If you manage to get whatever it is the occupants want, you are rewarded with additional weapons that you can also use against creatures. These weapons are more effective against most creatures in the game, but they are totally useless without mana.
There are coins you can collect, and this can be used at the General Store to get extra health or mana, among other things. There is only one Store in the game, so remembering where it is is important. When I first played it, I ignored it just because that I didn't remember where it was and survived without a trip anyway. Gold chests can also be opened containing bonus items, but the area must be explored fully to find these.
Frogatto can be a bit challenging at times, and I found that jumping on those small winged creatures that serve as platforms quite tricky. Other challenging tasks include knowing the attack patterns of a boss that you need to defeat to continue through to another area of the game. The graphics in some areas are simply stunning, especially the world map. Using a teleport device, you can actually teleport to anywhere in the game, as long as you been there first. Early in the game, you can actually look out onto an island with a lighthouse, and the water surrounded it is well animated.
The background sound effects add some atmosphere, and blend in with the environment Frogatto is exploring. The normal sound effects match those found in regular 2D platformers. Most of the music in the game either have a “cute” or relaxing feel to them.
The controls are simple to use. The arrow keys navigate Frogatto around, while others control his tongue, jump, and cycle through available weapons. This control system is a welcome addition than those used in modern games. While I was playing the game, I tended to use my tongue for creatures that were really simple to destroy, while using whatever weapons that I carried at the time for tougher ones.
The BadThe way the screen flashes red when Frogatto loses health gives the false impression (to me, at least) that this is a violent 2D platformer when it is clearly not. Also, I didn't like the way when you get a health power-up from one of those gold chests you have to collect two more in order to boost your maximum health.
The Bottom LineIn conclusion, Frogatto & Friends is a great game that I wouldn't mind playing again. Like I said, it has fantastic graphics and sound, and has character dialogue that adds depth to the story. Also, the ending is quite unexpected. It only costs $10 to get it from the game's official page, so if you want to a simple platform game that takes you back to the SNES days, what are you waiting for?
Also if you complete the game, that's not all there is to Frogatto. The developers threw in an editor that allows users to create any 2D game, not just platformers. Plus, we will see version 4.0 of the game this year. It will be an enhanced version, complete with new locations and different game mechanics. Can't wait.