Frogger

aka: Highway Crossing Frog, The Official Frogger
Moby ID: 1540
Arcade Specs
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Description official descriptions

Your task in this arcade game is to guide a frog across a treacherous road and river, and to safety at the top of the screen. Both these sections are fraught with a variety of hazards, each of which will kill the frog and cost you a life if contact is made.

The road is full of cars and trucks, at variable speeds. The river water itself is fatal, as are the snakes which hover within on later levels. Frogger must use the arrangement of logs, turtles (which are only there for a short time) and alligators (but stay away from their faces), and then jump into one of the open home-cells, ideally one containing a fly for extra points. Once all holes have been filled, you move onto the next, harder, level.

Spellings

  • フロッガー - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Atari 8-bit version)

5 People

Programmer
With assistance from
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Cover Artwork
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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 76% (based on 33 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 236 ratings with 9 reviews)

Going on an amphibious adventure

The Good
Back in the early Eighties, people were used to games such as Space Invaders and Galaxian, where they moved their laser left or right across the screen while shooting aliens swooping down at them. Then Konami’s Frogger appeared out of nowhere, and players suddenly found themselves controlling a frog, and they could move up - not just left or right - toward their five homes on the other side within a time limit.

To reach these homes, however, they must cross a busy highway to a median strip, and from there negotiate a river full of logs and diving turtles, and finally into all of their five homes. Fifty points are awarded to the player for reaching one home, but more points are awarded for bringing their lady frog along with them and gobbling an insect. The game starts off easy, allowing players to get used to the game. It eventually gets harder, with the game introducing snakes, alligators, and otters into the mix. The level design also differs slightly and everything is sped up, requiring them to time their moves carefully.

Besides the gameplay itself, Frogger was innovative in two other ways. There are more ways you can die, such as being run over by a vehicle, letting the timer expire, staying on a diving turtle, missing the homes, being eaten, and falling into the river. The gameplay is complemented by well-composed music. As well as the standard songs, the US version of the game has “Yankee Doodle” thrown in for good measure. The animations are brilliant; I like how the skull and crossbones are formed when a life has been lost. The game also has that “just one more go” vibe to it.

The Bad
I can’t find any flaws to this timeless classic.

The Bottom Line
Frogger is a refreshing change from the shooters that dominated the arcades way back in the early Eighties, and it contained many innovative features such as the use of background music and the number of ways you can die. The graphics and sound are excellent, and the game’s addictive nature will keep you coming back for more. Two thumbs up, way up!

Arcade · by Katakis | カタキス (43092) · 2022

Don't bash a classic!

The Good
The Apple II was my first computer, and I would play this game on it all the time. Even when I moved on to an IBM 386, then a 486, and then finally a Pentium 1 featuring Windows 3.1, Frogger was still a very very fun game to come back to. This is the 21st century, and after all the spectacular graphics I've seen and gotten used to from systems like Dreamcast, Playstation 2 and Xbox 360, it is indeed hard to take the Apple 2 version seriously. There are plenty of arcades around the country featuring Frogger in its pristine state, and there are plenty of Frogger roms and Mame emulators on the web to not have to sit in front of your dusty Apple 2 and play a version that will make your eyes cry and ears cry.

But don't tell me that it should have never been made. For a good 15 years, it was good enough for us gamers.. For a good 15 years it was an almost perfect arcade-port. The graphics might not be what they used to be, but the gameplay is intact.

The Bad
Really, in those days we all thought this game was perfect, and could play it for hours even after months. The only complaint was there was no sequel!

The Bottom Line
One big nostalgic experience. Everybody loves Frogger just like they love PacMan, Space Invaders, Sabotage, Missile Command, and Centipede.

Probably the best game you could get for the Apple II, along with Sabotage.

Apple II · by Forever Sport (22) · 2006

An arcade game conversion with no redeeming qualities.

The Good
The gameplay was at least similar to the arcade version of Frogger.

The Bad
The graphics and sound in the Apple II version of Frogger were ugly and annoying. Your frog looked like a pawn in a chess set (it was white not green), and the other sprites and backgrounds were not nearly as colorful as the arcade game. The music consisted of crude beeping.

The Bottom Line
The Apple version of Frogger was a mistake. Ugly graphics and grating sound effects ruined an arcade classic.

Apple II · by Droog (460) · 2003

[ View all 9 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
The reason why Frogger dies when it falls into the water Robin Gravel (1) Aug 14, 2023

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Frogger appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cartoon

In 1983, Frogger made its animated television debut as a segment on CBS' Saturday Supercade cartoon lineup. On the series, Frogger was voiced by Bob Sarlatte. After only one season, Frogger and the Pitfall Harry segment were replaced by Kangaroo and Space Ace. As of 2008, Saturday Supercade has never been officially released on VHS or DVD.

Graphics

Frogger supports a tweaked CGA graphics mode which is able to create more than 4 colors on the screen by switching color palettes each time the display reaches a particular scan line. This trick only seems to work on true CGA cards, including the Tandy 1000. The game uses this technique to produce blue water and a black road. (Several alternate options are also included, such as a bright green road and black water, though I'm not sure why you'd want to use some of these available combinations.)

This technique has appeared in a few other games, including Jungle Hunt, California Games, and The Games: Summer Edition.

Inaccuracies

In Frogger, if you fall into the water, you die. This makes no sense at all in the real world: Frogs are amphibious creatures, at home in the water as much as on land.

Music

The first stage's background music on most platforms is the opening song to Nippon Animation's 1977 anime series Araiguma Rascal.

References to the game

  • In episode #174 of Seinfeld (The Frogger), George discovers that his high score still remains on the Frogger machine in a pizza place he and Jerry used to go to in high school. In an attempt to rescue the machine and his high score, the camera shows George trying to cross a car-infested street from the same perspective as the game, complete with music.
  • Frogger was popular enough to have a song inspired by it on the full-length Pac-Man Fever album - Froggy's Lament.
  • In the MTV Movie Awards 2003 sketch, "The MTV Movie Awards Reloaded" has the Architect (Will Ferrell) saying that, while having created Q*bert and Dig Dug, he did not create Frogger but he came up with the name for it because it was going to be called Highway Crossing Frog. The last half of the joke is actually a true fact - Highway Crossing Frog was the working title for Frogger.
  • Robot Chicken parodied Frogger once: an enhanced version of Frogger crosses the road and a truck crashes into a car and explodes while people are yelling at each other. He then tells the other frogs that "it's time to cross the street".
  • In season 12's last episode of Fifth Gear, Johnny Smith's Frogger self contained unit is put into an armored vehicle, to test its construction.

Release

The Super Nintendo version was the last game released for the system in America. Excluding 2006's Beggar Prince, it was also the last American game released on the Genesis.

Starpath Supercharger

In 1983, Starpath Corporation released the 3rd game designed for them by Stephen H. Landrum entitled THE OFFICIAL FROGGER for the Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS) and licensed to them by Sega Enterprises, Inc. The reason Starpath was able to create their version of the Atari 2600 port was that although Parker Brothers owned the cartridge rights, they did not own the magnetic media rights, opening the door for Starpath.

The game is one of a few cassette based games (living up to the term “tape”) ever released for the Starpath Supercharger. Unlike the first two games Landrum designed for Starpath, this one does not contain a secret way to see the designer’s initials.

Title

The game was originally going to be titled Highway Crossing Frog, but the executives at Sega felt it did not capture the true nature of the game and was changed simply to Frogger.

Version differences

The Xbox 360 version closely resembles the original game, but it has new artwork, modernized sound and music, new bonuses, and new play modes (split screen head-to-head and co-op).

Awards

  • Retro Gamer
    • Issue #46 - #6 in the “Top 25 Atari 2600” Games poll

Information also contributed by Dracula Marth, Guy Chapman, Jeanne, LepricahnsGold, Nélio, NewRisingSun, PCGamer77, Sciere, Servo and FatherJack

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

ZX81 added by Rola. SNES added by Corn Popper. iPad, iPhone added by GTramp. ColecoVision, Commodore 64 added by PCGamer77. Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 added by Rik Hideto. Windows Phone added by Sciere. TI-99/4A, Android, Timex Sinclair 2068, BREW, J2ME, VIC-20 added by Kabushi. Genesis added by Alexander Michel. TRS-80 CoCo added by Martin Smith. Arcade added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Game Boy added by Terok Nor. Apple II, Intellivision, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit added by Servo. Tomy Tutor, TRS-80, Game Boy Color, PC-6001, Dragon 32/64, Macintosh added by Игги Друге. Atari 2600 added by wanax. MSX added by koffiepad. Odyssey 2 added by Psionic.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, Martin Smith, Nélio, Yearman, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, Grandy02, FatherJack, OmegaPC777.

Game added June 2, 2000. Last modified August 30, 2023.