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! (Majesco, 1999)
Memories: Ah, the joys of Frogger. It’s still one of the simplest and most deceptively difficult arcade games ever to come down the pike, and yet finding a decent port of it over the years has proven to be almost as difficult as getting the amphibious one across the road in the game’s sixth level. But ask anyone about favorite video games from the early 80s, and you’re almost certain to hear Frogger in that list. The popularity of the original Frogger is borne out by the fact that a series of licensees has attempted to turn out a modern-day descendant of Frogger, and while some of those have been fun in their own right, they’ve also barely lived up to the simple joy of the original.
With all of this in mind, I’m happy to report that Hasbro/Majesco got it right with this simple Game Boy Color adaptation. The only frills are a flashy color title screen and colorful between-level intermission screens. The original game remains remarkably intact. No attempts to go 3-D are evident. Frogger has no new abilities or weapons. This is the original game, albeit with a slightly finer graphical sheen, that was all got hooked on in ’81. Even the music is there.
Put simply, Frogger is one of those things that makes the Game Boy Color one of the last bastions of real retrogaming in the past four or five years. If this and Pac-Man don’t convince you…well, you’re obviously not in a mood to be convinced.
Frogger 2 was later seen on the Game Boy Color, while Konami later clawed the license to its own property back, issuing a quest-style Frogger game or two on the Game Boy Advance. And none of the follow-ups are as fun as this one is.