Developer: Ballpit Monster
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime: Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Frog Orbs is an homage to and modern take on the arcade classic Missile Command, but with magical frogs instead of the annihilation of the human race by nuclear weapons. It’s a much happier game. Basically, said magical frog wants to protect himself and his magical orbs that do magical things from oncoming invaders who hate magical frogs. So the player, who is forced into a pro-magic position, must tap ont he screen to launch magical bolts at enemies.

Now, the bolts travel slowly, so some accounting for enemy paths must be taken (fire to where they’re going, not where they are!) but thankfully, the bolts explode outward on impact, which can take out multiple enemies and cause chain reactions. It’s all built to be a lot more friendly to the player than games of the 80s, quite thankfully. But otherwise, as a modern take on this genre, it works well on touchscreens, and should satisfy the base urges of those who like the game.

Now, this is not a perfect package. The orbs that players have to also protect can unleash magical powers by tapping and holding on them. The powers are given little initial explanation, and serve varying degrees of effectiveness. The one that summons fireballs? Not bad. The one that summons up spikes from the earth that kill enemies who walk on them? A fine choice of defense. The one that brings up a nebulous shield around the powers’ orbs? Well, okay. The ice ball that fires in a random direction and only freezes an enemy, not actually defeat it? Garbage! The enemies attack in rather random ways as well: success or failure is based often around random chance: will the enemies attack overwhelm the center where the player is, or will they go for the orbs? Really, considering that even the default weapon has a very effective chaining system, I found the orbs to be at times a hindrance. The game does hand out its currency of flies pretty regularly, but actually buying anything is a problem because items are so expensive.

Frog Orbs has some interesting elements to it, but only those looking for new takes on Missile Command should really check this one out. Also a good question, why isn’t there an official Missile Command game for iOS, anyway?

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