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The Official Frogger - The Atari Times

The Official Frogger


Supercharged Frogger means Supercharged fun!
by Barry L. Laws Jr.

August 7, 2002
The Arcadia/Starpath Supercharger was probably the greatest accessory in history for the Atari 2600. With the Supercharger, you could load games from ordinary cassette tapes instead of cumbersome plastic cartridges. Since cassettes were cheaper than plastic cartridges, prices of Supercharger games were cheaper than cartridge games by Atari, Activision, and so on.

The Supercharger also added 6KB RAM to the 2600's paltry 128 bytes of ram, allowing for more-detailed graphics and larger games. In fact, some Supercharger games required multiple loads, easily making the games over 20K big.

One of the Supercharger games to take advantage of the increased RAM was the official version of Frogger. This game, in conjunction with Sierra On-Line, was licensed directly from the parent company of Frogger, Konami. This version of Frogger blows the Parker Bros. cartridge version out of the water in just about every way. Now don't get me wrong...the PB version is good in its own right, but compared to the Supercharger version, it just can't compare. I will be reviewing the Supercharger version of Frogger.

Graphics

You wanna talk about "arcade-quality" graphics on the 2600? Look no further. This game has "arcade-quality" graphics. Vibrant colors, detailed sprites, and fluid animation can be found in this beauty. Unlike the PB version, there is absolutely no flicker in this gem of a game.

Sound

Unlike the PB version, this game has EXCELLENT sound. The game features an in-game soundtrack similar to the arcade version's soundtrack. All the arcade tunes are in this game. I dare say this game has the best soundtrack of ANY 2600 game (even better than Pitfall 2). Sound FX are very close to the arcade version as well, including the hopping sound effect of your character.

Control

Flawless. The only in-game control is the joystick (or control pad, if you're using one of the European Atari 7800 joypads or a Sega Genesis joypad), and there is absolutely NO lagtime between input and on-screen action.

Gameplay

Basically arcade-perfect. All the arcade levels are perfectly recreated here. You have all the cars and trucks, the female frog, the fireflies, the lily pads, the logs, the turtles, the alligators (both in the water and in the lily pads), snakes, and those pesky otters. You also have the option of allowing Frogger to "wrap-around" (if he sits on a log floating from the left to right, he will appear on the left after passing the right edge of the screen) or being killed by touching the sides of the screen.

Overall

There are many arcade ports on the 2600. While most are good (especially Missile Command, Asteroids, Ms. Pac-Man, and Jr. Pac-Man), there can be only one arcade port worthy of being called "the greatest arcade port on the Atari 2600", and the arcade port worthy of that claim is the Supercharger version of Frogger. It's amazing at what an extra 6KB of RAM can do for programming such great games. Supercharger Frogger is very rare, so consider yourself lucky if you have it or if you find it. If you buy this game from a classic gaming dealer, you may have to shell out at least $25, but trust me...it's more than worth it.



Guess they had enough memory for a title screen, huh?
Beautiful graphics in this version.
But is it better than the glorious GameBoy version? (Heavy sarcasm included.)
Just for comparison, here is the cartridge version by Parker Bros.
The Official Frogger
System: 2600
Publisher: Starpath
Genre: Action
Graphics Score: 100%
Sound & Music Score: 100%
Gameplay Score: 100%
Control Score: 100%

Final Score: 100%



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