Developer: Cocos Games
Price: $1.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

First it’s pigs stealing bird eggs, now it’s robots stealing toxic waste belonging to a bunch of frogs. What’s the world coming to?! Although despite having a somewhat similar backstory and an “X” versus “Y” plot, Atomic Frogs is most definitely not a clone of Rovio’s cash cow (or rather cash crow?) but rather an adaptation of the physics hurling genre that’s well worth checking out.

So some jerk robots are siphoning toxic waste from a froggy community pool. Naturally the victimized amphibians fight back by utterly destroying the mechanical thieves and pushing all manner of big red buttons. Selecting a frog drops it on the platform while dragging back will pull on its tongue and set angle and trajectory. Each color of frog does something different, from merely exploding to destroying specific obstacles such as wood or stone, and deliberate use of their abilities will be key to completing each level. However, merely filling a pool with toxic liquids is just the beginning. In order to really excel and nab a three radioactive symbol rating (yeah, no stars) every robot must be eliminated and at least one frog must remain. On top of filling the previously mentioned pool. It’s not easy being green. Or purple. Or blue.

One of the first things that I came to really enjoy about Atomic Frogs was all the robot carnage. Making a frog explode in an automaton’s face then watching bits and pieces fly everywhere (sometimes even triggering switches!) is a simple joy, but a joy nonetheless. The second and most important aspect that struck me was the way these frogs and their victims made for a very interesting puzzle dynamic. Objects can be rolled, switches flipped to move platforms, buttons triggered to open new paths, robots decimated for a multitude of reasons, and even the frogs themselves can drastically change the level layout. Simply finishing a level is fine, but doing so after taking out all the robots and keeping a frog or two intact is all kinds of satisfying.

Of course there was also a fairly immediately noticeable problem with Atomic Frogs: it can get pretty choppy. This might be due to the device I was using but it doesn’t seem to be a processor-taxing game so I’m not entirely sure why things get so bogged down a fairly decent amount of the time. The difficulty of some of the later puzzles also seems to become a bit uneven, with some levels that are seemingly impossible to beat with three “rads” and other that can be finished with a single shot.

Thankfully the tough levels can still be completed with patience and the fidgety framerate doesn’t break the gameplay, because Atomic Frogs is a surprising amount of fun. It also serves as a grim reminder to never, ever anger mutant amphibians.


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