By Christopher Healy,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Fun, pretty frog sim could tempt kids to spend real money.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn the joys of caring for, breeding, collecting, selling, and trading beautifully rendered, imaginary frog species. Gameplay is largely hopping around lily pads in the pond eating dragonflies -- yikes, 27 percent happy? Time for a trip to the pond! Players monitor the health of their frogs and can sell them when habitats get too crowded, buy frogs with virtual coins, or trade to complete a collection. Incorporating real species and their names would provide a powerful learning boost. Pocket Frogs is a sophisticated collecting app with gorgeous graphics and some hopping-good action, too.
Ease of Play
The game is very easy to play, and is likely to appeal to both casual and novice gamers.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
In order to breed two frogs, you make one hop on top of the other. Once this happens, though, all you see is a message asking if you want to breed the frogs. Click "yes" and there's suddenly an egg in your nursery.
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Products & Purchases
Though not necessary to play the game, you can spend real money on "potions" that will make your frog eggs hatch instantly and on "stamps" that will make the items you order be delivered instantly. Without potions or stamps, you need to come back to the game hours later to see your new baby frogs or delivered items. Potion and stamp packs cost anywhere from $1 to $30. There is a button that links to ads for other apps, and iAds also appear in the app. The game also connects to a real-world frog-saving charity that asks for donations.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pocket Frogs is a game that lets kids simulate catching and breeding frogs. A major part of the game involves cross-breeding frogs to create new breeds. You can breed two frogs by making one hop on top of another (see "Sex" above). Parents should also be aware that impatient kids may be tempted to spend real money on "potions" and "stamps" that will help speed up their games. Unlike some other games that offer speed-up items for real money, though, Pocket Frogs can easily be played for long periods of time without the need to hasten the pace at all. Players on Android devices must play on the Mobage social gaming network, and Mobage requires account holders to be at least 14.
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What’s It About?
It doesn't take kids long to start tapping on lily pads to catch dragonflies. When they tap on a frog, a menu with maturity, happiness, value, rarity, speed, and stamina stats allows kids to determine whether to breed, feed, trade, or race their frogs. The nursery (via “N” at bottom middle) is where baby frogs are cared for until maturity. The main menu offers a catalog, Froggydex, Frogmart, and awards for collecting challenges, as well as opportunities to buy supplies (some for free coins, some for real dough).
Is It Any Good?
While there's not actually much to the gameplay in POCKET FROGS -- to interact with a frog, you simply make it hop across lily pads and eat dragonflies -- the collecting aspect is going to be a winner with kids who love trading cards. There's a thrill in either finding or, through cross-breeding, creating a new frog breed. It's even more exciting to discover that a new frog is one of the "rare" breeds. The graphics are very nice, and you can fill out your habitats with a lot of customization elements. While the temptation to spend real money on speed-up items is there, there's not nearly as much pressure to use them as there is in some other games. You're not as likely to quickly dead-end at a point where you're stuck with nothing else to do unless you use a speed-up item.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Go on an amphibian hunt but maintain respect for the creatures by leaving them in their native habitat and not touching them. If you don't live in an area with lots of frogs, visit a local pet store to observe them.
The Pocket Frogs Wiki website gives kids a portal to extended learning, interaction, and trading.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Science: animals, biology, life cycle, Hobbies: collecting, pets, Math: money, statistics
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, applying information, decision-making, Emotional Development: empathy, Self-Direction: work to achieve goals
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: September 24, 2010
- Category: Simulation Games
- Topics: Science and Nature
- Publisher: NimbleBit
- Version: 1.0.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.0 or later
- Last updated: July 13, 2020
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