Team 17, responsible for the outstanding Worms franchise, has resurrected their old platformer Superfrog HD. An Amiga game from 1993, Superfrog was well received in the 90’s. Today the game is simple platforming fun, though it has its rough spots. Going up against some heavy hitters in the platform genre in this day and age it comes up short to today’s standards for the genre but is still enjoyable.
What it is about: Superfrog is a cursed Prince chasing after a Witch that stole his Princess. Drink a potion and he goes from frog to Superfrog! Jump on animals, collect coins, fruit, and power ups. Your typical platformer thrills.
The Looks: The game has a definite casual feel to it. I could see this on a mobile phone. Its esthetics also lends itself well to being a mobile game. With the appearance of a slot machine and the three star rating system, it would feel right at home. Looks good on the PS Vita and PS3.
What You Hear: The music is super repetitive and immediately tiresome. Not much else to say here other than there are sounds of picking up coins and fruit. Some levels of music are not as bad, but still repetitive.
Controls: Gameplay elements include fast running much like Sonic, and hidden coin blocks like Mario, and other platformer tropes. However its controls are not as precise as either of those game franchises. There are game mechanics that are not told to the player in any form. I found out that there was a power up that allowed you to shoot things from the controls menu. As well with another power up you can hold the X button when in air to glide. However the game does not communicate these elements to the player. The Spud shot also does not fire when you are in the air making flying enemies hard to take out, and make the Spud shot feel largely unimportant until later. One power up allows for Superfrog to turn ghost-like and run through enemies and other dangers. However this ghostly power up does not keep him from being hurt by spikes, or fire pits, which is confusing. As well the controls feel slippery, and sometimes imprecise, though you can figure out its imprecision and work around it.
Outside of that anyone who has played platformers will not feel too challenged. However a large degree of difficulty comes from the control of Superfrog, who doesn’t stick his landings, and slides a bit before coming to a stop. Which sometimes means instant death when hitting spikes on their side (which is cheap).
There is some fun to be had once the game mechanics,and poor controls are figured out. Get past the first world and the game becomes fun as more traps and avoidable obstacles are present. There are a bevy of hidden areas in each level to find. As well you should tackle the trophies, they make for good goals during play, though no Platinum here, sorry folks. Just don’t expect it to be a Mario, Rayman, or Sonic caliber platformer.
I also tried out the Cross-Controller feature. It was enjoyable to use. The game had specific warp spots that would warp Superfrog to the Vita in a hidden area. In addition it featured a map, which showed what direction to go for the golden lily pads, which helps to get the associated trophy.
The Good: Simple fun platformer, neither great nor bad. Do not judge the entire game on the first world. The games worlds become more interesting. The more I played the more fun I had with the game.
The Bad: Music is boring and hurts the ears, it is so casual and repetitive, and each world has its own song though.
The Ugly: It does not inform the player well of power ups and how to use them. As well the controls are slippery, not as solid as other games out there.
Will you be picking up the game? Have you played it? Let me know what you think in the comments.