Monday, January 9, 2012
Frog Bog Intellivision
Frog Bog was one of several games featured in the recent cult classic film Grandma's Boy. It's easy to see why: the movie definitely has a retro penchant, and an Intellivision game is perfect for the movie's comedic vibe.
Supposedly this game is a remake of Frogs and Flies for the Atari 2600, but for some reason I just like Frog Bog better. The graphics are definitely improved, but I enjoy the controls on the Intellivision, oddly enough, better than on the Atari.
In the movie, a younger gamer challenges pro-taganist Alex to a game of Frog Bog, and its the perfect choice for multiplayer action. The game test reflexes, timing, and prediction of parabolas (mental calculus) to the extreme. Your competition is the only real difficulty setting, because the computer is laughably easy. Both players jump around catching flies for three minutes, flies are worth different amounts of points, and the player with the most points after three minutes wins the game.
There are several different control options. A fixed arc across the lilypads serves as the easy setting. I prefer medium, in which you have to plan your jumps more carefully by holding down the button to determine velocity; this setting also allows you to choose between low hops and high hops. This also allows the players to fall off the lilypads, and this is great because it only penalizes you by taking a little time to swim back up to the lilypad. Its both realistic (i.e. frogs shouldn't die when they touch the deadly water) and fair. Players won't be discouraged from taking risks, and an agressive strategy is the only way to victory.
As you play, the pond shifts slowly into nighttime--a nice graphical touch, and one that provides the game with some extra charm. The game was included in the PC, PS2, and DS versions of Intellivision Lives! On the DS you can play single-cart multiplayer with a friend of stranger. It's a game you can challenge anyone to, anytime-- to the death or for money.