I never considered frogs to be a very popular topic for video games, but there are actually quite a few games that look at amphibians tethered to water lilies and their desire to eat insects. Fortunately, Mister Frog is a completely different beast. Yes, you are still trying to collect errors with the protagonist’s tongue, but there is no water lily anywhere to see in this game. Also, the actual game mechanics are unlike anything you have encountered in these types of games to date. This is another good example of a simple, fun and addictive combination to perfection to create a game that probably won’t get the recognition it deserves.
If you really need a story, you basically play a depressed frog who decides to see if his talent for eating insects will be appreciated in the circus. Happy what did you ask? Regardless of the reason, your job is to try to eat as many critters as you can in one of the two game modes. Arcade mode gives you one minute to consume as many insects as you can, although you can get both positive and negative time modifiers to affect the overall duration of the game. In survival, on the other hand, you keep eating until you’ve lost all three lives or accidentally swallowed the bomb, whichever comes first. Along the way, you will earn random coins to buy both “utilities” and clothing.
The control is simple: just draw a path for the tongue to follow. What makes this so much fun is that, unlike most of these games, you can curl your tongue to bend over obstacles or to get more mistakes at once, and you can even loop if you want. What really makes this game work are the achievements. You always have three to work on, and thankfully this game doesn’t force you to complete all three before you get more. Once you complete an achievement, it will be replaced in the next round. They start out pretty simple, but you’ll eventually get things like having to earn a particular score or survive so many seconds with or without doing something. I just completed one where I had to score over 1500 points while playing backwards (yes, the orientation does not change in this game when you rotate your device).
The images are quite elegant. I don’t know why, but I mean it looks “old-fashioned”. However, there are some interesting effects, like the way your tongue almost looks like a jet of energy or how the edges of the screen “freeze” when you increase the slow power. The music is fun, but there is only one track, so it gets repetitive after a while. However, once you start getting into the action, you won’t notice.
Mister Frog is for people who like to constantly strive for new high scores or love achievement. The game doesn’t really have much depth, but it’s perfect for a 10-minute bus ride or getting lost for an hour with the TV on in the background. If you think you know amphibian games, it’s time to give Mister Frog a try.
Overall score: 9/10
App Store link
This game was reviewed on an iPod Touch 4 with iOS 5.1.1.