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Review – Frogger for Amstrad Plus

A frog jumping on logs avoiding obstacles to get to his home doesn’t sound like an interesting game but Frogger is an arcade classic.  I’m surprised Frogger was never released commercially on the Amstrad CPC.  It was a massive success back in the day, at the video arcades.  Frogger was launched onto the video game industry at the arcades in1981.  It was licensed for worldwide distribution by Sega/Gremlin, and developed by Konami. The game is regarded as a classic and was noted for its novel gameplay and theme.  Frogger is still a popular video game even in 2016!
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”.  Thank goodness they did change the name, I don’t think ‘Highway Crossing Frog’ would have been as marketable or catchy or appealing to gamers.  Frogger, is of special interest to children and adults of all ages.

In addition to inspiring numerous clones, this game inspired an unofficial sequel by Sega in 1991 called Ribbit which featured improved graphics and simultaneous two-player action.

Frogger is regarded as one of the “Top 10 Videogames” of all time by the Killer List of Videogames (KLOV).  The original “Highway Crossing Frog” was actually an exact copy of an earlier game called Freeway, which had been developed in 1971 at the University of Washington‘s, Psychology Department, on an IMLAC PDS-1 graphics minicomputer, as the “reward” part of a project related to studies of human short-term memory.  Apparently, someone at Konami saw it and commercialized it. The Atari version was released in 1981, developed for the company by Ed English, who was also the programmer for Coleco‘s Mr. Do.

So why wasn’t Frogger ever ported to the Amstrad CPC???  It’s strange indeed as it was ported to so many home computers and consoles check out this list…. C64, Apple, Sinclair ZX81, Dragon 32, Atari 800, TRS-80, TRS-80 Color Computer, PC DOS, MSX, PC Windows, Odyssey², ColecoVision, Atari 2600, Intellivision, Atari 5200, PlayStation, Sega Mega Drive, Super NES, as well as so many hand held clones such as the Gakken, Frogger handheld, which I played to death as a youngster, constantly running out the 4 ‘ C ‘ type batteries required to play it.

Well finally, after many years since its original arcade release, aussie, Richard Wilson aka ‘The Executioner’ (also creator of the excellent WINAPE, an Amstrad CPC emulator that allows you to emulate an Amstrad CPC by using your PC) has done what no one else has done before and ported Frogger to the Amstrad.  Amstrad CPC+ Frogger was converted in 2007, so it was a long wait for Amstrad CPC fans that’s for sure.

Richard, has done a super job of porting arcade Frogger over to the Amstrad CPC Plus, it won’t run on a standard Amstrad CPC, so it makes the most of the enhanced features of the machine enabling a better replication and cobversion of the arcade version of Frogger. frogger_amstrad_cpc_001

Graphically its identical to the arcade you can’t tell the difference.  It’s smooth, crystal clear and leaves you wondering how did Richard do that???  The sprites move well and there’s nothing to hate about it at all.  The frog animation and movement is smooth and fast, as do the rest of the game sprites.  The tunes are nice.  There is spot FX whenever the frog moves and it sounds exactly like the arcade.  A tune plays throughout too, it’s nice at the start but can become a little annoying, but it’s clear and no distortion.

Only 3 lives which is a real drag on staying power but it oozes playability and a dream to play with joystick – who wants to play with keys anyway???  The timer runs down a little too quickly for my liking so u have to make a move on and dont have much time to think before time runs out, but that’s classic arcade Frogger isn’t it.
Amstrad CPC+  Frogger is an awesome conversion, if Richard Wilson had done this in the Amstrad CPC”s prime years he would have made a fortune im sure of it…

Go on, go out and play it now, its still soooo retro cool!!!

GFX 70 % – its frogs and logs so not much detail but clear and smooth
SFX 70% – nice clear tunes and spot fx
GRF 80 % – you’ll be hooked straight away
STP 70% – only 3 lives and timer runs out a little too fast.
Overall 80% a great arcade conversion to cpc a must for your collection

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