Frogger 3D

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Frogger 3D Game Poster Image
Tricky take on old classic proves it’s not easy being green.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

By playing this simple, arcade-style game, kids may come away with a slightly better understanding of the dangers involved in crossing busy streets.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game’s hero is a speechless frog, the motives of which are unclear. It appears he’s simply compelled to cross busy streets without the assistance of walk lights or parents.

Ease of Play

The game is hard even though the controls are simple -- just press the direction in which you want your frog to hop. Each of its 60 stages comes with its own unique obstacles that make our amphibian’s crossings extremely tricky. Failure comes more often than success.

Violence & Scariness

The player’s amphibian will can get squashed by cars and other objects and will sometimes be thrown up and squished against the screen. Green juice -- which may be interpreted as slime or cartoonish blood -- is shown faintly around its body. Some levels see the frog getting a bit of revenge, with players pushing nails under the wheels of speeding vehicles to cause them to suffer tire blowouts.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Frogger 3D is very much like the classic game upon which it is based, but with 3D graphics and an added level of challenge. Players attempt to make their amphibians cross busy streets to reach glowing goal areas. Failure results in flattened frogs (green goo that appears around his squished body may be interpreted as slime or cartoonish blood). Up to 4 players can compete together using local WiFi.  Note that this game supports the 3DS StreetPass wireless communication feature, but that personal information is not exchanged. Parents need to remember that Nintendo is warning all parents not to allow kids age six and under to view the graphics in 3D because viewing "may cause vision damage." The Nintendo 3DS offers parents the ability to lock out the use of 3D graphics in the system's Parental Controls.

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What's it about?

This update on the decades-old arcade classic has players doing pretty much exactly what they’ve always done in Konami’s beloved frog hopper: moving an amphibian to the opposite sides of busy streets. FROGGER 3D offers 60 stages filled with obstacles far more multifaceted than those in the original game. Players will need to cross streets in different locations and eras (early 1980s New York City to mid-1990s Asia), as well as engage in special stages in which they have to do things like pop the wheels of large trucks by pushing spikes under them. Players can also try a never-ending classic version of the game in which they see how many hops they can make before getting squished by a car or falling off a log. Local area competitive play supports up to four players.

Is it any good?

No one would claim Frogger 3D to be an essential gaming experience. That said, it does provide a surprisingly multifacted -- and at times highly challenging –- street-crossing experience. Our frog can climb boxes to take longer leaps, hop over different levels of roadway (think overpasses), and can even use friends to his advantage, including metal frogs that block traffic and glowing frogs that help light dark areas. Special stages -- including one set on a cube and another in a sushi bar -- help mix things up even further.

However, these clever tricks can’t hide that we’re basically doing the same thing -- hopping around -- over and over again. Complicating matters, the game’s high level of difficulty means that those who mind repetition least -- younger players -- may well find the action too frustrating to want to continue. It can be a fair bit of fun, but those who find it so for any substantial stretch of time probably won’t be very great in number.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about crossing the street with care. What does the frog in this game do wrong? How would you advise him to bisect busy roads in safer fashion?

  • Families can also discuss how they feel about watching virtual animals get injured in games. Does seeing a video game frog get squished bother you?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Konami
  • Release date: September 27, 2011
  • Genre: Arcade
  • ESRB rating: E for Animated Blood, Cartoon Violence

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