26 November 2014

Superfrog HD

Game score: 55%
Platform: Steam, PC
Steam link:

Ask any true Amiga fan about Superfrog and they'll know it. It's a legend of its own, one of the most famous game of the classic computer system and one that was enjoyed the most. A true Amiga platformer, one of the games that marked its time. Team 17 recently decided to remake its own classic and the result is... Superfrog HD, almost exactly the same game but in high definition. The key word is almost.

Our hero is a frog. Actually, he's a prince that's been turned into a frog by an evil witch. As if that was not enough, the witch also took away his princess. One unlucky prince, eh? Fortunately, he found a magic potion that gave him super powers and now he's ready to rescue his beloved princess and lift the curse! Quite a story, isn't it? Actually, who cares. A good game does not necessarily need a good story to be fun. All it needs is a good gameplay. 

Unfortunately, Superfrog HD lacks that as well, for the most part. Unlike the original 1993 game, this one is way too easy and can be completed in less than two hours. Maybe even quicker if you know your way. Navigating the levels is not like in Mario games, it's not a typical left to right scroller. Superfrog can go up and down, left and right... You can move in any given direction and jump long distances (you are a frog after all), pick up power-ups that make the game even easier and advance through its 24 levels in a quick pace. The levels themselves are well designed and themed (a forest, a castle, a circus, ancient Egypt, ice caverns and an interstellar base) but they are just too easy. The controls are also a bit weird - even though you only have 4 direction keys, a jump and fire button, they somehow managed to screw up... I guess it's the reaction time. I swear I clicked JUMP on time, but Superfrog still walked into fire and died. Not once, not twice, but a hundred times. I tend to be really precise when it comes to platform games and this one fails at that.

All you need to do to complete the level is to reach the exit. However, it is much more fun to explore and try to collect as many bonus points (fruit, coins and treasures) as possible while searching for many secret passageways that lead to even more bonus points. Enemies that can hurt you vary from slow moving worms that you can either stomp or shoot to a bit more challenging full size monsters that can only be shot or jumped over. The power ups that can be used are limited to only 2 things: wings that can make you fall slower and... something that looks like small frog head that you can fire for a short distance and eliminate critters.

A good thing is that you can actually unlock the original levels as you play. You will certainly appreciate those because they are a lot harder to complete and offer much more challenge. They are not hard to unlock, all you need is to win on a slot machine mini game that appears after each completed level. The original levels are taken directly from the 1993 version and even though they look and feel the same as the HD levels, they are harder since they use a lot more critters that can damage you and position spikes at strategic points so you have to be a lot more careful with your jumping and walking.

Steam version has 12 achievements to collect and that's quite a bonus in my opinion. They will make you explore the levels more thoroughly and see the whole game. Alas, they are also not so hard to get and only 2 of them will actually make you replay the levels you have already completed before.

To sum it up: Superfrog HD has everything the original had, but it lacks... magic!

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