Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Frogs are usually content to sit on lily pads and croak all night ("croak" as in vocalize - we're not talking about the euphemism for death), but sometimes an amphibian needs to slide out of their comfort zone. Such is the case with Bufo, a frog wizard who's forced to defend his territory against invading Benglings in Frog Orbs 2.
Frog Orbs 2 by Ballpit Monster Studios is a sequel to last year's Frog Orbs. Frog Orbs 2's gameplay is similar to its predecessor - that is to say, it plays a good deal like the arcade classic Missile Command, except it uses frogs and cute imps in the place of nuclear warheads.
Players control Bufo at the bottom of the screen. Tapping causes the frog wizard to shoot magic beams that explode into a radius of stars. Benglings march down from the top of the screen in waves. A direct hit from a magic beam won't hurt them. Instead, they need to get caught up in the magic explosion, meaning players need a sense of timing to get anywhere in Frog Orbs 2.
The enemy waves come in faster and faster, but Bufo can make his froggy life easier by accessing magic spells. Tornadoes whip away Benglings, walls of earth and fire keep them at bay, icy wind freezes them in their tracks, and rock golems hop across the battlefield and knock out any Benglings that get in their way.
Frog Orbs 2 is definitely cute, and younger players (the audience the game is engineered for, according to Ballpit Monster Studios) shouldn't have a problem getting a grasp on its mechanics - at least once they understand it's the explosion, not the beam, that does away with Benglings.
The game is pretty repetitive though, and doesn't offer a lot of new surprises from level to level. The Benglings do get smarter and employ tactics like zig-zagging (plus they change their attire according to the world they're in, which is a nice touch), but most levels can be conquered by tapping rapidly on the screen and creating protective clouds of explosions. A greater variety of monsters would be cool to see, too.
Young fans of arcade-style games will enjoy Frog Orbs 2's colorful graphics and cute character designs, even if the gameplay only keeps them entertained for a few levels. It's hard not to love a frog wearing a wizard hat.