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SCORES EXPLAINED:

5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom


Funkmaster V Reviews


7800 Rank: Unranked

Genre: Action

Awards: None
And I Thought My Commute Home Sucked... Pros: Amazing sound/ Great port of the arcade version
Cons: The kid friendly gameplay may not be for everyone.
I Would Like To Make A Complaint on the City's Road Commissioner


Overview: Matthew Luedtke plopped on the Atari 7800 Homebrew scene way back in the double aughts with a simple cart available at Christmas time: Santa Simon. Although very simple, the
game featured great graphics and a creepy snowman that probably appears on some offender list somewhere. Matthew then took over an entire decade fine tuning a 7800 version of Frogger to perfection. This arcade classic is a perfect Atari game (simple to play, difficult to master) and chances are you've stepped on a version or two on the way to the bathroom this morning. There are many Froggers available in many forms, but this "dodge all the obstacles" game may be the best version available on a home system.

Graphics: On several homebrew titles for the 7800, rendering graphics seem to be the hardest thing for a hobby programmer to get right. But on this cart, the graphics are pretty remarkable. If you are standing about 15 feet back, I would say that you could mistake the arcade's looks with this version. The differences are so minor, I'm not even going to mention them.

Sound: This game is available from the Atari Age store (and ebay all the time, for some reason), with a Pokey chip or TIA sound. The Pokey version's sound effects and music are tremendous, but surprisingly enough, the TIA version is unbelievably good. I mean, it's great. Truly. For those who don't know, TIA is the exact sound chip that the Atari 2600 used... and... it can be pretty grating if left in the wrong programmer's hands. But not here. You can leave the volume up on the TIA version and it won't annoy the neighbors.

Gameplay: Just like the games Freeway or Fast Food, at its core, Frogger is simply an obstacle dodging exercise. And like Pac Man iand its variants, no button is required. The frogs you control need to go home, and their daily commute is a perilous one. First, you must evade the 5 lanes of heavy traffic that is behaving insanely (seriously, who is the city engineer? Just look at how the traffic is flowing). Then you must traverse a fast moving river. The river would seem easier to conquer than the traffic, but unfortunately for our amphibian friends, it has a bevy of trouble to contend with: Alligators, disappearing platforms (turtles), snakes, and fast moving logs. You even have that "Link effect", where you die by touching water, which is really weird for a frog, but whatevs. At least on the river portion my man may get to have a quickie with a girl frog, on a log, (what a dirty dog).. or eat some bugs for bonus points. When five frogs reach their homes, the board clears bringing up the next. Then we have to contend with faster traffic, more erratic log patterns, new enemies, and all sorts of evil things frogs hate. This commute is a killer!

Interpretation: You may love this game, or you may hate it, but it appears that this version is nearly arcade perfect. This port may even be a hair easier, as I found that jumping into a home nook is more forgiving on the 7800 version than the arcade. Sometimes the collision detection with the vehicles is a tad wonky... but to be honest, I feel the same way about the arcade version, too. Overall, if you love Frogger, man, this is a high quality version.

Value: Frogger is a good game, but it is simple. You may be swept up in the timeless gameplay, or it may leave you a little bored after a time. Games like Donkey Kong, Tempest, and Ms. Pac Man are simple classic games that can captivate me for hours, but I've always had a hard time playing Frogger for long innings. There are several boards to discover, each with their own unique lay-outs and caveats. The discovery of new lands may entice you to keep playing for a bit longer.

Overall: Matthew Luedtke took his sweet time with this game, just like my man Barry White takes his sweet time making dirty love to those lucky funkettes. Both are good things. You cannot deny the quality of this title, especially in the sound department. Additional 7800 options like two player simultaneous mode or maybe a racing mode between players might have bumped this title in contention for best title on the system. But however you slice it, Frogger (or Froggie) for the 7800 should make other homebrew games green with envy. Frog puns suck, but I did one anyway. I DO WHAT I WANT.

Additional Info:

***I would like to thank Atari Age for the use of their screenshots in this review.

***I love Froggie's updated take on the classic Parker Brothers box art of Frogger that was used on multiple home systems.