Retrogaming Spotlight: Frogger

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Retrogaming Spotlight: Frogger

Post by SHaines » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:17 am

In the early days of arcade gaming very few titles broke into the zeitgeist like Frogger. This simple little game about a frog crossing the street without getting squished has been going strong in popular culture since it was first released in Japan in June of 1981.

Check out our RetroGamer post on this arcade classic here:


It is a deceptively simple premise; move from the bottom of the screen to the top. Some early arcade games required rote memorization of each level to be successful. In Frogger, you could definitely memorize an ideal route, but there were lots of paths to victory available.

Story: You’re a frog who wants to go home.

Gameplay: Use the joystick to move one space at a time (Up, Down, Left, or Right). Sometimes the best path forward meant backtracking to avoid catastrophe.

Dodge a variety of cars and trucks when trying to cross the highway part of each level. On the river portion of each map, you need to hop from log to leaf in an effort to avoid being swept away by the water or running into predators that were looking to eat you.

Play: There are no shortage of Frogger ports available for just about every platform. The Atari 2600 version was a faithful adaptation that was massively popular. It has also remained popular as technology advanced due to the quick pace of levels and very basic control structure.


A solid version can be played via web browser here:

Popular Culture: Look, I’m not going to lie...I watched the cartoon series as a kid. I loved it at the time, but have my doubts that it would hold up after all these years. In the series, Frogger was an ace reporter because back in the 1980s it was tough for amphibians to get jobs in most fields.

The most famous example of Frogger in media has to be the episode of Seinfeld where George decides to preserve his record high score via wacky antics.

Pro Tip: In the river section of each level you’ll want to be on the lookout for insects that pop up. Landing on those earns bonus points. You may also find another frog on the screen. Landing on this frog results in an even bigger bonus, but it can be risky to try to go back for it. It’s all about doing a risk/reward analysis on the fly.

Frogger was one of those games that everyone has heard of, even if they never played video games. Did you ever see the cartoon? How about that episode of Seinfeld? Let us know what you think of the game!

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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Frogger

Post by jpishgar » Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:05 pm

Definitely one of the older games that everyone loves to hate (or hates to love?). Frogger takes me back.
The two player variant was definitely...contentious.

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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Frogger

Post by NickThorpe » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:00 pm

The thing I always found interesting about Frogger was its ability to appeal to non-gamers. I used to live with a guy whose dad was an absolute terror - ex-police, wouldn't stand for people shortening his son's name (no nicknames allowed!), quite grumpy. The one thing we were able to converse about was Frogger, because he loved it and we had the Xbox Live Arcade release. Didn't play any other games, but if you gave him Frogger, he'd be there for hours. I'm still not quite sure why this particular game is compelling to such people. Any theories?

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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Frogger

Post by kiwimike » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:57 am

Never been a massive fan of it, but I do give it a go from time to time. Quite a fun game, but like Pac Man never got massively into it as I usually like shoot em ups. And yes, it is funny 'non gamers' seem to like Frogger. I have it on my cab, and my sister who isn't even slightly a gamer, will give this a go from time to time when visiting. Not sure why that is!

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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Frogger

Post by bionickoalaboy » Tue Sep 28, 2021 11:22 am

Pac-man was always my early eighties go-to game, but I never really got particularly good at it. I was reintroduced to Frogger when I bought a Madcatz joystick for my Xbox360, and with it came a copy of XBLA Frogger redeemable via scratch-card. I got hooked on it pretty quickly, and owning it meant I wasn't limited by the amount of 10ps I had in my pocket. The achievements and on-line high score table where a real bonus and drove me to practice more. I started to learn the patterns and tricks, and learning that you can touch the snakes ( but not their heads ) changed my game massively. I slowly improved until I finally passed that challenging 5th level.

I've broken the 30K barrier a few times now, and now play Frogger on my PS4. It's much less frustrating to play than with the 360's rubbish D-pad ( The joystick broke pretty quickly ), I just got my new high score of 34,260. That puts me 16th on the PSN World leaderboard ( And the 4th Brit ). Frogger continues to be my favourite game for a 'quick go', and I can't see that changing anytime soon. ( It's also become the 1st and only game that I have 100% of the achievements/trophies for since they became a thing! - Got there in the end. ) Next stop - 40K
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Frogger

Post by RetroBob » Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:08 pm

Wow good work! Not a bad first post either... seems you joined 5 years ago to the day!
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Frogger

Post by bionickoalaboy » Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:12 pm

Thanks :D I hadn't noticed the date. What a coincidence!
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Frogger

Post by Antiriad2097 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:25 am

One of the things I like about Frogger, aside from it being a really good game/design, is that it's so easy to make a version. Even in BASIC on the old 8 bits, it's possible to get a workable rendition that plays fairly well with all the recognisable elements. That and Pac Man are so simple, yet so compelling, with easy to tweak things under the hood to mix it up and experiment with the code.
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Frogger

Post by NorthWay » Wed Sep 29, 2021 4:42 am

I'm not a huge fan of the game per se, but I think it is a fabulous example of game design in how the traffic moves horizontally while you (mostly) move vertically, creating colliding paths which generates the gameplay. (DK Jr keys level takes the design even further with the birds having unpredictable travel distance when they go down to change direction).

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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Frogger

Post by Shinobi » Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:32 am

I actually prefer the Atari 2600 Frogger as you never died on the side of the screen, on the B difficulty you never. I only saw the Arcade Frogger once in Liven Saint Anne’s Pontins played the Atari Frogger for years it was around 2010 I played the original Frogger they had it in Paignton Pier with Captain Commando, Bride of Pinbot Pinball , Judge Dread and Starblade cabinets among all the crane grabbers and redemption machines.

I found the Lady frogs and flies didn’t hang around for long unlike the Atari version. And putting that Snake on the safe part between the cars and the river was evil
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