Frogger 2: Threedeep
Atari 2600
Parker Brothers
One of several successful ventures into the videogame industry by boardgame giant Parker Brothers, Frogger 2: Threedeep is a follow-up to the hugely successful Frogger. Frogger 2 is an attempt to expand on the original title while keeping the same basic gameplay intact.

Frogger 2 has three levels of play (Threedeep - geddit?) compared to the original's single screen. Starting in a pond, the levels are given the wonderful names Underwater Frogger, Surface Frogger and Airborne Frogger....

Underwater Frogger
Here, Frogger must avoid the deadly fish, submarines and eels in his attempt to reach the other side of the pond (AKA the top of the screen). Not every creature is fatal to the touch however, as Frogger can hop on the back of his buddy, Joe the diving turtle, for a free ride. Once Frogger reaches the top of the screen, he can either fill one of the three berths on floating logs or hop to the next level. To progress to the next level, Frogger simply has to jump on the end of a log.
Surface Frogger
A slight change of gameplay here as Frogger must ride on the backs of other creatures to survive - falling in the water causes our heroic frog to drown. Frogger's aim is to reach the tugboat on the far side of the screen. Alternatively, to reach the third level, Frogger can hitch a ride on Mother Duck's back.
Airborne Frogger
Completely out of his depth in the sky, Frogger must fill one berth placed on clouds at the top of the screen. Again, Frogger enlists the help of the local residents - including birds and zeppelins - to piggy-back to his goal. However, The control method differs in this level as inertia is introduced in the form of gravity.

Should Frogger complete all three levels, the game starts again at a slightly higher difficulty setting. The Atari's difficulty switches can be used to adjust the effects of falling off the edge of the screen (ie - wraparound or death!) as well as the starting level of play.

Carefully retaining the simplicity of the original while adding enough new ideas to catch the attention of the average gamesplayer was always going to be a difficult balance to strike. Fortunately, Parker Bros have spent plenty of time at the design board and come up with a sequel wholly worthy of the name. All three levels are well designed and although the game is still simple in design, there is always plenty going on to keep you on your toes. Graphically, Threedeep is no masterpiece, but for the Atari is definitely a job well done. Out of the three versions I have played (Commodore 64, Colecovision, Atari 2600) - I have to say the Atari version is the worst, but is not far behind and considering the limitations of Atari's hardware is quite an accomplishment.

Graphics: 78%

Sound: 65%

Gameplay: 80%

Overall: 79%
Very good considering the limitations imposed by its host machine. The sprites are well-defined and there are lots of them! Flicker is kept to a minimum. A simple jingle at the start of each game, and above-average sounds effects. Simple but great fun. All three levels are well designed and offer a fair amount of challenge. A definite improvement over the classic original. Although simple, Frogger 2 is an engaging, enjoyable piece of gaming history.
R E C O M M E N D E D   A L T E R N A T I V E S

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