The Game: One or two players control one (or two) hungry frogs, each on its own lily pad. Flies flitter past overhead, and it’s the player’s job to get his frog to jump to just the right altitude, facing just the right direction, and to send his frog’s tongue snapping out to gobble up a fly at just the right time. The diremelyction of each frog can also be controller – frogs can go from pad to pad, but be careful not to land a frog in the drink; he then loses precious time swimming back to his lily pad while the other frog can be gobbling up more tasty flies. The game follows a complete day in the life of the frogs, from morning to night. Whoever snaps up 100 points worth of flies wins the game. (Mattel Electronics, 1982)
Memories: As a concept, Frog Bog had been around since the 1970s, with the basic game play of two frogs competing for flies dating back to the B&W days of the arcade. But even if the game itself wasn’t anything new, it never got a better graphical treatment than it did in Frog Bog. This is one of those games that showed up incessantly in early press and advertising material about the Intellivision, and with good reason – it’s a simple, fun game married to just the right graphics and sounds.
It’s also hysterically funny, from the splash-croak of a frog who accidentally takes a swim, to the two frogs crossing each others’ paths fruitlessly. I have to imagine that with the right crowd, Frog Bog could be one of the great early ’80s video party games, right up there with Warlords and Smithereens! The transition from day to night is pure genius, and adds a lot of graphical appeal.
Frog Bog is near-flawless fun for everyone from tadpoles to old croakers like me. As it’s one of the signature Intellivision titles, it’s been revived in every form from an Atari 2600 version (courtesy of Mattel’s M Network) to more recent collections and plug ‘n’ play games. Frog Bog has never been “toad” away completely because it’s such good fun.