The Game: You are a frog. Your task is simple: hop across a busy highway, dodging cars and trucks, until you get the to the edge of a river, where you must keep yourself from drowning by crossing safely to your grotto at the top of the screen by leaping across the backs of turtles and logs. But watch out for snakes and alligators! (Sierra On-Line, 1983)
Memories: When I fired up Sierra’s rendition of Frogger for the Apple II for the first time in something like 25 years, old synapses that hadn’t fired in ages suddenly came to life once more. This was the very first game I got with my very first computer, back in the day – back when neither one was anywhere in the same neighborhood as “cheap.” So I have a great sentimental attachment to this version of Frogger.
But what about the game play? It’s actually not bad. This is actually really solid in game play terms, truth be told. What’s missing is a little bit of the arcade’s fine audiovisual grain; most of the game’s cheery music is absent, and for that matter, so are most of the sound effects. Even the ascending tone heard whenever Frogger picks up a ladyfriend on the way home is missing, replaced instead by an onscreen indicator (a little heart that appears at the top of the screen).
The best comparison for the Apple II Frogger is, perhaps, the battery-powered LED tabletop by Coleco. Sure, it doesn’t get every detail right, and it doesn’t look or sound the same, but the stuff it does get right is what makes Frogger what it is, and that’s not a bad deal at all.