Pocket Frogs is an absorbing and multi-faceted game from Mobage. The aim of the game is to breed frogs, create unique habitats for them, tame them, catalogue them, and even race them against other frogs! There are several elements to the game that make Pocket Frogs a distinct and engrossing title that is as refreshing and original as it is addictive. So, for details as to how to collect a diverse range of colourful froggies, leap on!
It’s tricky knowing quite where to start with Pocket Frogs. The game features such a diverse gameplay experience that focusing on a specific attribute would do it an injustice. Players essentially farm frogs; from growing tiny eggs in the nursery to racing your fastest breeds to earn coins, it’s up to you. Another aspect of the game is collecting and cataloguing different breeds of frog. Breeding frogs together is a sure-fire way to get a fast frog which is great for racing. There’s a real “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” feel about Pocket Frogs that certainly nods towards the Pokémon world. (Incidentally, fact-fans, the word ‘Pokémon’ derives from the Japanese brand name ‘Pocket Monsters’.)
You look after your frogs in a variety of different ways, and in a diverse set of locations. For most frogs however it starts in the Nursery habitat. This is where eggs and baby frogs hang out in a baby-friendly environment. It is here you can watch your spawn grow into adults. Once you have grown your new frog into an adult, it’s time to tame them. You do this by taking them to the pond…
Life for frogs start in the nursery
The pond is an exciting place for exercise, food, gifts, happiness and finding other kinds of frogs to breed with. First you’ll need to tame the frog by feeding it dragonflies. To do this simply jump from lilly pad to lilly pad, gobbling flies as you go. It take some good timing to get the bigger dragonflies but you’ll soon be notified that your frog has been tamed. Along the bottom of the screen you’ll see its little happiness meter – the more they eat the happier they are.
You also can breed frogs in the pond area. Simply get your frog to share a lilly pad with one of the wild frogs you find there and magically an egg will be placed in your nursery. Oddly, the act of breeding doesn’t increase the happiness of the frog… but food somehow does. I wonder how the developers came to that conclusion!? Anyway, you can have up to eight babies in the nursery at any one time. After this they’ll have to be moved to the adult habitats.
The pond: for exercise, food, happiness, gifts and breeding
Players start with one adult habitat but as you progress you can buy more. These can be decorated with various backgrounds and items which help increase overall happiness. I personally find myself using different habitats for different things, with one especially for my racing frogs. In addition to breeding with the wild frogs at the pond, you can obviously breed your adult frogs too. They need to be in the same habitat but they can be bred via their individual profile pages.
Is That a Frog in Your Pocket?
Each froggie has its own little profile in the game. Here, its level of rarity, maturity, happiness, value, speed and stamina info is listed. You also get the breed of the frog alongside a nice profile picture. There are tabs which let you breed, catalog, move to other habitats, take to the pond or sell.
Cataloging your frog means you have essentially recorded it, so even if you sell your frog you can buy back that specific breed. Bizarrely here you can only catalogue so many frogs at a time. What? Does the catalogue only have so many pages? Was Ash ever told “No, stop, you have enough Pokemon now”?! This small part of the gameplay makes absolutely no sense and had me scratching my head. Why limit your catalogue?
Typical frog profile
Additionally from the profile you can play games with your frog… the options here are either to race them or play a frog logic puzzle. To be honest the frog logic puzzle is rather boring compared to the races. Your frog lines up against 4 others in a first-to-the-finish sprint! If your amphibian wins you get either money or choice of losing frog. It’s all quite exciting actually and the game lets you give your frog a boost if it needs it. One tip: make sure your frog is happy when they race. Grumpy frogs do not hop fast for anyone. Even if this sounds like a weird Chinese proverb, it’s wise counsel in Pocket Frogs.
What’s exciting about this is that, while you might just want to collect and breed as many varieties of frog as possible (collected in your Froggydex in the menu), you might also just want to breed the fastest frog you can and make money. On that basis the game can be pretty much what you make it. From the Tamagotchi-style play where you keep your frogs happy with regular pond visits, or focussed breeding to collect as many types as you can, to just the breed-to-race gameplay I am enjoying, there’s lots of fun to be had whichever route you take.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics are beautifully detailed and flawlessly animated. Frogs are distinguished by their bright colouring and these markings ‘leap’ off your screen! The menus, shops and habitats are all lushly designed and look very impressive.
The sound is also great. You have everything here from notification noises to lilly pad leaping sounds, ribbits, croaks and racing whistles. Particularly pleasing is the wet pond sounds as your frog jumps about! These visual and audio elements give the game a very discerning polish that certainly places its quality way above the normal tycoon game fare.
Whether you want to call this a ‘breed em up’ or something else, the gameplay feels very much like a tycoon game. While you collect coins throughout the game, the power lies in stamps and potions which speed up frog growth, delivery times etc. Mobage, the social platform behind Pocket Frogs also support Tiny Tower (and these were both developed by Nimblebit), so there is a similar feel to the accumulation elements of both games. My recommendation would certainly be to try out Pocket Frogs if you have enjoyed Tiny Tower.
Another aspect, and perhaps one familiar to fans of the Final Fantasy series of games, is the way you can breed frogs for racing. Like the Chocobos of the Final Fantasy world (well, certainly the one I lost so many hours of my life to: Final Fantasy VII), you can breed types together to create a super fast one for racing and glory. Frog competitions are a little less frantic than a visit to the Chocobo races but I felt a similarity between these two very different titles in this aspect of gameplay.
There are still a slew of minor game aspects that I haven’t even touched upon here. You can receive requests to breed specific frogs in exchange for goodies, such as potions. You can complete frog ‘sets’ and redeem them for items too. There is a supply shop to buy habitats and other items which increase frog happiness levels. The higher your level (you progress by breeding and completing other gameplay elements) the more is made available to you. There are also awards to win, in-game help, promotions and a FrogMart, in addition to the social element of game via the Mobage gaming network.
It really is a game which is packed to the rafters with features, diverse gameplay and unique player options. This kind of game should attract all manner of gamers. From tycoon-game junkies to players who like virtual pets. There might even be enough here to attract gamers who like racing games; although engine tweaking isn’t quite the same as frog breeding, the result (a faster frog/car) is pretty much the same! If any of these genres tiptoe into your preferred gaming habits, definitely give Pocket Frogs a look. It’s rewarding, dynamic and lots of fun. Hop to the Market in the link below and find out for yourself!