Spring time has come around again, and the frogs are all hanging around the pond, listening to funky freestyle music and trying to outdo each in various competitions to prove who’s the coolest of them all.
You and your friends have the opportunity to join in all the fun by taking control of a frog each and attempt to tongue slap each other into the pond while trying to be the first to eat all of those tasty bugs flying around you. Take care if you are standing on a lily leaf, as these only stay up on top of the water for a limited amount of time and if you are on one when it goes under then it’s straight into the water for you.
There are 3 different games modes on offer in Frogs:
- Bug Hunt, where you try to be the first to eat a specified number of insects
- Battle, sees each frog trying to push each other into the pond to score a point with the objective to be the first to obtain a specified number of points; and
- Countdown, again each frog tries to push each other into the pond but this time with a life being lost each time your frog is pushed in and the winner being the last surviving frog on the pond.
Frogs was originally released for the Commodore 64 by Christian Gleinser from Dr Wuro Industries in 2017 and was lauded as being a fun multiplayer game that took advantage of 4 player adapter technology.
Thomas IIg from Anarcho Ride Laboratories recently decided to port Frogs across to his favourite 80s personal computer system, the Atari ST. However, Thomas was never going to be satisfied with doing just a straight port and wanted to make sure that the ST version would introduce a few additional layers to its game play experience.
The first and most obvious improvement to the Atari ST version over the C64 version is the addition of computer AI controlled frogs. The C64 version was always restricted in that it only offered a 2 to 4 human player experience. The addition of AI opponents is a significant enhancement as it not only provides a single player experience but adds depth to multi-player games as well when you have less than 4 human player, as Frogs is best played as a 4 player experience
While Frogs for Atari ST supports simultaneous 4 player game play via an adapter, Thomas has also made the provision to allow 4 player play via MIDI connection with two ATARI ST machines, something he put together initially because he was totally unaware that 4 player adapters existed for the Atari ST.
The list of enhancements don’t end there. Frogs for Atari ST includes many more Pond maps to play with and it also includes a C64 skin mode.
The only area where Frogs for Atari ST is lacking to its C64 counterpart is with the general frog movement, with the C64 version moving quicker and feeling more responsive. This is clearly evident if you play the game on a standard Atari ST, as Frogs is really optimised for the Atari STe.
Interestingly, Christian Gleinser was involved with reproducing the game’s soundtrack on the Atari ST version and has done a great job in keeping recreating the bouncy tune using the ST’s YM chip. The sound effects are all done by Thomas himself, sampling his own voice and simply speeding up or slowing down the speed of the sample to suit his need. Unfortunately, these samples have also been optimised for the Atari STe and are not available on a standard ST model.
While a digital download version of Frogs for Atari ST has been available for a couple months, Anarcho Ride Laboratories has just issued a couple of physical box editions. The Multi Player Double Pack edition and the multi player power pack edition. Both editions come with a copy of Zatacka ST while the later comes with an ST4 Player Adapter.
As an added bonus, the game manual that comes with either boxed editions discloses a trick on how to enable MEGAPARTY MODE, which allows for 6 way frog slapping action to take place at once.
Frogs is a highly enjoyable party game that is sure bring along a lot of fun and laughs when playing with friends. The addition of a single player mode is a welcomed, though you will most likely find limited use of this feature as there isn’t that much to sustain playing by yourself against the AI in the long run. The Boxed Editions are very well packaged and with the inclusion of a bonus game (Zatacka ST) it becomes a must for any avid Atari ST collector.
To find out more about Frogs, check out the game show case video below.
The physical boxed editions of Frogs for Atari ST can be ordered directly from Anarcho Ride Laboratories web shop.
Retro gaming journalist promoting NEW C64, Amiga, Amstrad CPC & ZX Spectrum games. Contributes to RetroGamerNation YouTube channel, RVG and Vintage is the New Old blog sites, Reset 64 Magazine, The 8-Bit Annual and various other publications.