Game Design, Game Reviews

Game Review: Frog Smash – a game to tease the brain

icon Frog Smash is a memory trainer game created by Cartha Studios for the Android platform.

Available on Google PlayIt’s nothing spectacular – but it’s a good game. It is well envisioned and executed properly, with enough gametime to keep you hooked for a while. If memory training games are your thing, Frog Smash is worth downloading.

Gameplay

frog smash ss1Once you start the game, it shows you a pond with a couple of cutely drawn frogs, each one having a number assigned to it. Those numbers disappear after a few seconds, and you are tasked with tapping on the frogs in the order of the numbers – from the lowest to the highest.

Sometimes, the numbers will be simple (for example, from 1 to 5), sometimes they’ll be more complex (starting from 79, or hiding the lowest-numbered frog somewhere in the corner of the screen).

However, you don’t have all day to try and remember the order in which the frogs appeared – the timer is ticking. Each properly tapped frog will increase the timer for a few seconds. Tap on the wrong one, and you’re penalized, losing a few seconds.

The game ends once you’ve run out of time. This is a solid concept, as theoretically – you can have the game running endlessly. In practice, that’s not the case, as the developers have said the game features a total of 350 levels.

Yours truly has managed to reach level 37, and that’s probably as high as his memory and focus goes.

In-game shop

frog smash ss2Completing levels and moving through the game earns the player more than just a few seconds – it also earns gold coins which can be spent in the in-game shop. This virtual currency can be spent to remove all ads from the game, as well as to buy a couple of helpful power-ups.

The game features two helping extras: the hinting system (showing you the order of the tapping, to some extent) and the swap, which wipes all the frogs from the screen and replaces them with new ones.

Although I like the system, none of the power-ups have any description in the shop – I had to earn 1,000 coins and spend them just to discover what a power-up did. You can also buy the coins with real money to save yourself the trouble.

Visuals and audio

Visually, the game looks good, but it isn’t spectacular. The pond is slightly animated, as well as the eyes of the frogs floating across the pond’s surface. The HUD is also solid, featuring three basic elements on the right side of the screen – the timer showing how much you have left, and the two buttons for the two power-ups.

The buttons also show how many of each power-up you can use. Level reached and coin earned is shown at the top of the screen.

The music is mediocre at best – but it’s not annoying and won’t mess with your concentration as you try to focus on the numbers. I guess that’s the most important thing with memory games, and this one has done a good job in that respect. The background audio is of a well-known, evergreen pop song, but I couldn’t remember the name. It was enriched by the sound of frogs croaking and chirping – all in key.

Drawing the line

If I am to sum the game up in one word, that would be ‘decent’. The game performs solidly in every aspect, although it does not excel in any, either.  If you like memory games and puzzles for the brain, you’d want to give this one a go, as it will probably keep you interested for a while. The in-game shop with a few power-ups can help you along the way, and if you’re the competitive type, the 350 available levels will give you plenty to think about.

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