Superfrog logo Amiga Computing Gamer Gold

Team 17 are back again with yet another classic. Look up to the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Superfrog. Hope, hop and away...

Team 17 are quickly gaining a reputation as the best Amiga games company in the business. For starters they've got the right attitude. Quality and not quantity is their motto.

Almost every piece of software they've released has been without a doubt an absolute classic. Team 17 use the best graphic artists, programmers and quite possibly the best music and sound effects man in the world.
Just take a look at their list of releases. There was Alien Breed, a classic Gauntlet-style lookalike for the 90s, Project X was an amazing shoot-'em-up which blew all of its competitors out of the water. Assassin was a platform/action game, but unfortunately it was made out-of-house and suffered some major design faults, but it was still a damn good piece of software.

The boys from Wakefield then returned to form with Body Blows, a beat-'em-up that completely battered the pathetic Streetfighter 2 to death with its brilliant graphics and sound.
Team 17 have created the almost pefect Amiga shoot and beat-'em ups, but they've always wanted to do a classic Amiga platform game. The platformer in question is Superfrog and you too will believe a frog can fly...

I always get excited about Team 17 software mainly because even before I load it up I know it's going to be good. The graphics are superb, the sound is brilliant plus and the playability is truly excellent, almost without fail.
Making a piece of software of this type could have been extremely risky for any other company. How many platformers are instantly forgettable? Exactly, almost all of them.
Apart from a select few, good platformers are hard to find. The main problem is the platform game itself. How doe you make it so that it isn't alike alike to every other on the market? How do you make a platformer that isn't instantly compared to Mario or Sonic the Hedgehog or Zool? The answer is you can't.

Whatever product a softwarehouse releases, it is still going to be compared to another product whether it be a platform or a shoot-'em-up.
For example, any puzzle that involves the use of blocks is going to be compared to Tetris or Columns. Any interactive adventure is not going to escape without bearing some resemblance to Monkey Island 2. It's just the way this harsh computer games industry goes!

What Team 17 decided to do with Superfrog was not to make an alternative platformer, but to make a super-playable one done in the classic style of old, making use of the Amiga's superior graphics and sound capabilities.

Superfrog starts with a fantastic and very witty animation lovingly crafted and sculptured by Eric Schwartz. Eric, who you may have heard of, is responsible for loads of those cute PD cartoon animations that you see flying around. If you haven't see any then it's definitely worth ringing up a PD library just to enjoy the man's talents.

The animation is top notch and tells the story of a magic Prince and his bride-to-be. The Prince's land was full to the brim with feelings of peace and harmony - that was untl the wicked witch arrived on the scene. The old hag got incredible jealous of the Prince's bride-to-be and decided to turn the Prince into a slimy frog.

The Prince was now entirely helpless and decided to retire to the river bank to mourn over his lost love. A strange battle floated past, a strange battle containing a liquid known as Lucozade. Yes, I know it's not entirely believable, but it was a good way of getting a bit of advertising, plus Team 17 supremo Martyn Brown probably got a few freebies out of them. At least it'll keep him off the lager! Where was I? Ah yes, the strange bottle floated past the froggy Prince and he was so despondent he decided to drink it. With a flash of lightning and a gust of wind he had miraculously become Superfrog.

Thus our little froggy ffiend decided to put wrongs to right and get his beloved Princess back form the clutches of the wicked witch. Story time is over, now down to business. Superfrog is divided into six major worlds of which there are four sub-worlds. To complete one of these levels you must collect a certain number of coins which acts as a kind of toll fee.

The exact number of coins is shown on a large coin in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen; this number decreases as you run about like mad collecting the golden currency. The exit will only open when you have collected enough coins.
All this mental coin collecting is also against a time lmit. When the time runs out so do Superfrog's powers, so placed around the levels are bottles of Lucozade which when collected up will keep his energy topped up.

There are also a number of special powers scattered around each level for you to use. Collect the wings icon and this will enable you to perform great leaps in the air. The destructo-spud is a little green blob with eyes which you can use to chuck at airborne enemies and knock them to the ground.

Superfrog can also turn invisible thanks to the invisibility pill which renders our froggy hero invincible for a short period of time. There are plenty of bonus points to be picked up. These can come in the form of several different types of fruit. When you complete the level these points are converted into credits. You are given a chance to collect the points or better still gamble it all.

The gamble is a chance to play on a fruit machine, and instead of winning lots of cash you get the chance to win level codes, extra lives and thousands of points. The fruit machine is a good little feature and as far as I know it's never been before.

Controlling Superfrog couldn't be easier as the controls are very basic indeed. Although at first our slimey friend is a bit difficult to handle and seems a little bit too fast, after ten minutes of play your worries will be over and you'll be jumping and running through the levels like a newly-born spring lamb.

I don't think I need to tell you how good Superfrog is - you can probably already tell from the score-box and the bloomin' massive Gamer Gold, but hey I'll tell you anyway.
Everything about Superfrog is just so polished. Every aspect has been carefully considered and as far as platform games go they just don't get any better than this.

The graphics are astoundingly good - all the characters are wonderfully drawn and you could almost think that you're watching a cartoon.
Sound is very nice, although the tunes can sometimes get a bit annoying. A bit of funk or metal would have been nice instead of those sugary platform tunes. The sound effects are good, though, with a smattering of sampled speech.
It plays like a dream. At first it looks extremely basic, but as you progress it becomes more intricate and increasingly more difficult.

This looked as though it could be aimed at small children and would be very easy, but stick it on the harder level and even the most experienced gamer is going to have his or her work out.

Superfrog is quite simply Team 17's greatest release to date. It's full to the brim with great graphics, sound, playability and addiction. You'd have to be completely potty or hopping mad to ignore it. 1993 is going to be Team 17's year. I can feel it in my bones.



Superfrog logo

He's lean, he's green and he's on your machine in a first-rate platform adventure.

Oh dear. Here it comes. Oh no! Sorry, I can't stop myself... here I go... yes, yes, yes.
Superfrog is (shock, horror) based on Sonic The Hedgehog. There's no getting away from the fact - you can smell traces of the spikey speed-merchant all over this latest game from Team 17. And as it turns out, this is no bad thing, for two very good reasons.

First, as any one who owns a console toy will tell you, Sonic The Hedgehog is a very fine game indeed. It pretty much redefined what platform games were all about, but so far the bluey blurr hasn't appeared on the Amiga.

But before you all start whinging that you don't want 'Sonic The Bleedin' Hedgehog on your Amiga anyway, thank you very much, and that you'd rather have some real gameplay (something Amiga programmers have proved themselves to be really good at) as opposed to some half-baked attempts at recreating some here-today-gone-tomorrow console's fancy custom chips whizzing through their paces, here comes Good Reason Number Two...

Team 17 haven't attempted to recreate the speed and graphical gymnastics of the console game. Instead, they have presented us with a slower, more deliberate and thoughtful version. Sonic's influence is but only skin deep. Scratch beneath the surface of Superfrog (or to be less metaphorical, simply pick up a joystick and start playing) and you will soon realise that Superfrog is its own game.

Don't lick a frog
OK, so it's a standard platformer, but a very polished one. In the words of Team 17's Martyn Brown: "It's meant as a classic example of the genre, in much the same way as Project-X was a classic blaster." And you know what, he's right.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's just take a couple of paragraphs out to explain what Superfrog's all about.
Here's the plot (see the pictures for a quick story sequence): Superfrog is, in fact - and here comes the surprise bit - a Prince! He's been turned into a frog blah... evil witch blah... bride-to-be, whisked away blah... drinks magic potion blah... Superfrog appears and sets off to rescue totty (with many accompanying 'Da DAAAAAAs' one assumes).

There are six stages (scenarios), each with two or three sub-levels that have to be completed before the happy couple are reunited. It's simply a matter of walking from one end of a level to another, collecting coins to pay your toll fee at the end (a counter tells you how many more need to be picked up), drinking Lucozade bottles to replenish your energy level, jumping on top of bad guys before they jump on top of you, and exploring the plethora of secret rooms and passageways.

The graphics are smooth and craftily designed. Superfrog runs, jumps, is catapulted upwards and flaps (with the aid of a particular power-up) with real style. OK, so there's nothing particularly ground-breaking or jaw-dropping here, but as a very polished, very competent example of a top-rate Amiga platformer, Superfrog's up there with Putty, Robocod and Zool.

Toadally frogmungous
Similarly, the gameplay doesn't chuck many surprises at you - the action remains predictable, although never to the point of tedium. There are no gameplay novelties or tweaks here that you won't have seen before (even the fruit machine 'gamble your coins for extra points routine' you find yourself facing at the end of a level I seem to remember from Kid Gloves 2) but then I suppose that's what you must expect from a game that bills itself as 'a classic example of the genre'.

So don't buy Superfrog if you're expecting a ground-breaking new variation on the platformer theme - this ain't it. Do buy Superfrog if platformers are your big thing. Do consider buying Superfrog if you're new to the Amiga scene and have yet to discover what this whole 'platform' business is all about (you could do a hell of a lot worse, and with the noteworthy exceptions of Harlequin, Zool and Putty, you couldn't do much better).

I wouldn't go so far as to say this was a classic game, but as a classic example of a platformer it's not half bad.


Superfrog
It's that old eternal triangle between man, woman and tree. The woman will win the man's affections though, cos she's got a better bark.
Superfrog
The wicked witch lurks in what (by looking at it) could easily be a corner of the AF offices.
Superfrog
After wallowing in pity by the River of Despair, Superfrog spots the Goodyear Blimp.


Superfrog logo

Amiga-Nachbauten von Segas Konsolen-Igel "Sonic" sind ja zur Zeit besonders schick - einen der schicksten haben so eben die Action-Profis von Team 17 abgeliefert.

Zur Einführung gibt's ein mehrminutiges Intro, das unverkenbar die Handschrift von Eric Schwartz, dem ungekronten König der Digi-Cartoons trägt: Eine Hexe will ihre Finanzprobleme durch einen feigen Überfall auf ein Prinzen paar losen, bei dem sie gekidnappt und er in einen Frosch verwandelt wird.

Es läuft auch alles nach Drehbuch, so daß sich der Jungadel die Welt erst mal durch Gitter bzw. aus der Krötenperspektive betrachten darf. Aber zum Glück existiert da ja noch die Getränkefirma Lucozade, die hier als Sponsor auftritt und dem frischgebackenen Frosch ein Fläschchen ihres Sprüdelwassers kredenzt - woraufhin dieser zum Superfrog mutiert!

Die Hochleistungs-Kröte kann nicht nur tierisch gut hüpfen, sondern auch wie der Teufel durch die Insgesamt sechs (nochmals in mehrere Unterabschnitte aufgeteilten) Welten rennen, um am Ende schließlich der Hexe den Scheitel zu ziehen.

Die einzelnen Stages bieten dabel sowohl grafisch als auch spielerisch jede Menge Abwechslung; so verbergen sich in den Wald-, Schloss-, Pyramiden, Zirkus-, Eis- und Abschluß-Regionen z.B. allerlei versteckte Bonusräume und kleine Zwischen-Spiele am Groschengrab, wo man noch mehr Punkte, aber auch die Levelcodes ergattern kann.

Das erste Etappenziel lautet, unter Zeitdruck eine bestimmte Zahl von Goldmünzen aufsammeln, damit sich der jeweilige Levelausgang öffnet - so nebenbei greift man sich natürlich auch das ganze Obst, die Juwelen, Zusatzleben, Limoflaschen und was sonst noch rumliegt.

Das meiste davon bringt einfach bloß Punkte, es gibt aber auch spezielle Extras wie Tarnkappen, Fröschbeschleuniger, Gummiball-Waffen oder Flügel fur besonders ehrgeizige Höhenfluge. Bei all dem sollte man energieverschlingende Hautkontakte mit den einheimischen Bienen, Schnecken, Igeln etc möglichst vermeiden; eine Ausnahme bildet nur der behertzte Sprung auf die Glätze der Gegner, mit dem diese geplattet werden.

Daß der blaublutige Landfrosch so ungemein rasant zur Sache geht, macht die Steuerungsaufgabe nicht gerade leichter; unfaire Stellen sind in dem Sinn zwar nicht vorhanden, aber haufenweise tückische Eisflachen, Feuerespucker, Fallturen und Stachel-Abgründe.

Dafür ist das Optionsmenu entgegenkommend wie ein Geisterfahrer: Die Anzahl der Froschleben und der Schwierigkeitsgrad sind getrennt einstellbar, außerdem lassen sich hier die Levelcodes eingeben. Dazu ist die Begleitmusik genauso nett und abwechlungsreich wie die gut animierte Grafik, kurzum, die Präsentation befindet sich auf ähnlich hohem Niveau wie das flotte Gameplay.

Trotz des werbewirksamen Hintergrunds schneidet der Igel im grunen Tarnanzug also gar nicht schlecht ab - Spaß macht er jedenfalls um keinen Stachel weniger als sein Segavorbild. Sollte der dann endlich mal am Amiga abtauchen, wird er Mühe haben, der Konkurrenz davonzuwieseln... (rl)



Superfrog logo

Is it a toad? Is it a newt? No, it's a platformer. With a frog in it.

Shock Horror In-Depth Superfrog Imposter Probe Alert! AMIGA POWER has conclusive proof that, far from being the most pumped-up and pert amphibian ever to don a dashing red cape, Superfrog is nothing more than a star-struck prima donna. Thanks to our exclusive image-enhancement technology, we can reveal that a poorly-paid stand-in was employed t undergo the rigours of platform exploration and suffer all those messy 'falling on spikes' experiences.

Shunning NASA's generous offer of a state-of-the-art CAT scanner, or a bit of down-time on their Hubble space telescope, we opted for what surely must the highest-tech piece of picture scanning equipment available today, namely our very own 'Jacquie Spanton'. In the clinically-controlled experiment transcribed below, we established beyond dubt that the alleged 'super frog' isn't risking his own green warty skin, preferring to bask in the spotlight of fame, while immigrant, non-union stuntfrogs perish by the bucketload.

MARK: Are you ready to begin then?
JACQUIE: Oooh, look at those lovely shores.
MARK: What shores?
JACQUIE: Thank Cam, I'll have a lager and a crèm de methe chaser.
MARK: Oh, hardy har har. Now I've got a picture from the intro sequence here, and one from the character in the game. What do you think?
JACQUIE: I think it's about time you got them in. [WAVES EMPTY GLASS]. Look, you can get a pint in there.

MARK: No, but really, does this close-up look like the same frog as in the game?
JACQUIE: Not in the slightest. Hey, can I go now? We're missing some seriousdrinking time.
MARK: So there we have it, indisputable scientific proof that, for reasons unknown, the forg in the intro is some kind of imposter. Furthermore...
JACQUIE: 'Twas on the good ship Venus, By God you should have seen us...
MARK: Would you turn off that tape recorder now please, Tim?

Hmm, kicked the 'Jacquie goes to the pub lots' joke to death, methinks, so I guess it's time to get round talking specifics. The big problem with platform games is what to say about them. I mean, love or hate 'em, be really good or a complete loser at 'em, they're all pretty much the same game.


You can gamble your bonus in a fruit machine

Let's look at Superfrog as an example - your girly gets kidnapped by a witch, and you're turned into a frog. To get her back, you're transformed into a super hero by a bit of shrewd product placement (Which we're not going to mention here. If Lucozade want free advertising from us, they can... oh, what a giveaway. - Ed), and then bounce your way through various themed worlds, collecting coins and fruit and jumping on the heads of various bad guys. Heard that plot before?

Okay, okay, so I'll talk about the game now. There are six worlds to battle your way through before you're reunited with your gal and (presumably) turned back into the handsome prince you once were. Each world is divided up into four levels and, at the end of each level, you can gamble your bonus in a fruit machine level to try and get an extra life or level password. Should you struggle your way through to the end of the fifth world, there's another sub-game in the form of a shoot-'em-up where you head to the moon for a final, high-tech showdown with the wicked witch.

The frog may have a cape, but that's about the extent of his super powers, although he can jump on baddies à la Sonic and Mario and take them out. But, and here's the first of my dislikes, some baddies seem to be invulnerable to various attacks. Hedgehogs, or tortoises with spikes on their backs are obviously going to be bad news, but there are some other who just say 'no' to dying, for no apparent reason. Even when you get a handy (if barely controllable) little green thing which you can fire off at distant baddies, some of them still stay stubbornly alive. Oh yes, and there's another power-up in the form of a little set of wings, which enables you to fly. Well, not really - if you press fire enough, you do get to flap his cap a bit, which slows your descent a little. Sorry, but I'm not impressed. Nor was I wowed by the between-level fruit machine sub-game. It's all very nice, but what's the point? It's just a bit too irrelevant for my liking.

Playing through the levels, I think that the Team 17 boys have probably got the difficulty curve spot on. Despite the fearsome reputation we put around of us lot being games gods, I'm actually pretty crap at platform games, but I still managed to get through the first world with no problem at all, and found my progress slowing as the worlds got harder.

With level codes available, a good player could jump through the easy bits and head for the Ancient or Ice worlds, were things get really tough. The Ice levels amused me greatly due to the almost total lack of friction so, once you get going, you've just got to keep going, until you either finish, find a long stretch to decelerate on or (more usually) you die.

So there we have it. It's colourful and tuneful, but ultimately I've seen it all before. With Arabian Nights showing us that it IS possible to do something a little different with platformers, Superfrog seems a little uninspired. That's not to say that it's not good, 'cos it is, but there are better ones out there, and better still, I think, to come.


PRINCE AND THE EVOLUTION
Superfrog
In true fairy-style, this young chap just can't believe he's snagged the royal babe.
Superfrog
Neither can the witch. She's green and warty and hates 'nice' things.
Superfrog
Which is wy our hero ends up not only babeless but also a frog in a red cape. Downer.
IT'S NOT EASY BEING GREEN
Superfrog
Lobbing this little green chap does all manner of naughty things.
Superfrog
That gratuitous product placement is everywhere!
Superfrog
Here's the little green chap again, in pre-pick up mode.
Superfrog
Flapping your cape a bit isn't the same as flying, fool.
Superfrog
For reasons never exlained, hitting mushrooms produces coins.


Superfrog logo CU Amiga Screen Star

Faster than a speeding hedgehog, stronger than umpteen ninjas, Jon Sloan sees if Team 17's amphibious antics are all they're croaked up to be.

There have been many cutesy characters on the Amiga. The hero of Team 17's latest platform romp, though, has to rank up there as one of the strangest. And he's brought a small, green, elastic blob to keep him company.

Our hero was once a handsome young Prince and in love with a beautiful Princess (aren't they always?). Unfortunately, a wicked witch took exception to love's young dream and kidnapped the Princess after turning our hero into his current slimy self.

So, off he leaped to the riverbank to drown his sorrows. Luckily for him a bottle of Lucozade happened to be floating by and our intrepid hero plucked it from the stream and took a swig. Now, I wasn't aware of this, but Lucozade apparently has a strange effect on frogs and turned this one into a super version of the mud dwelling leapers.

(Remember kids: don't try this at home or I'll have the RSPCA onto you sharpish). Endowed with super skills he jumps off to find the Princess for a quick snog and a bit of retrogression before kicking some witch butt. Yes, it is a crap plot but who cares so long as the game plays well?

FROG'S AWAY
The game is divided into six worlds each sub-divided into a number of levels. Collecting a set amount of coins, usually 99, explained as being a toll to access the next level, completes the levels. These lie scattered around the platforms and, in common with the rest of the genre, there are loads hidden in secret rooms.

But if finding the things wasn't hard enough, you're against the clock. The time limit set are not too harsh, however, and can be increased by collecting the various Lucozade bottles that appear at certain points. These also act as energy boosts and come in very handy 'cos there's quite a few nasties that drain your energy. As well as the orange liquid there's fruit to collect which gives you a hefty bonus at the end of the section.

To add to your woes each level is replete with its own selection of energy draining creatures. These nasties come in various forms depending on the level you're on. For instance, in the Forest (World 1) they appear as wasps, hedgehogs and snails amongst others, whilst in the Ancient level (World 4) you'll meet mummies and snakes.

Some can be killed in the time-honoured fashion of jumping on their heads. Others are completely invulnerable to your attacks. Unfortunately, the only way to found out which is which is to jump and see. The only other way to bump them off is to find Spud, Superfrog's elastic blob of a friend. Once he's been picked up he can be thrown, boomerang-like, at enemies and is especially useful for hitting the flying varieties.

Talking of power-ups, there are a few other useful ones. The wings enable froggy to stay suspended for longer or glide further. The drawback is that to make them work you have to pummel the fire button 'til you think your thumb's going to fall off. The pick-ups are speed pills (fast and slow), restart pills (return here if you die) and a nifty invisibility pill. This turns the frog invisible, except for his eyes, so that he can run past and through most nasties (including the swinging spiky balls!).

BONUS GAME
At the end of certain sections all the fruit coins and time you've got are totted up and credits awarded. These can be converted info points or gambled on a fruit machine for more points, extra lives or even level codes. It's quite accurate, too, as it's got holds, nudges and even special features. (We liked it so much that we've struck an exclusive deal to put it on our cover disk in the next couple of months!)

It's a pretty unusual way of increasing the score and I'm sure It must have been thought up after a long night in the pub. Still, it's good fun and makes a change from all that running and jumping.

The main gameplay itself is extremely tough, with a well thought out learning curve. The levels start pretty simply in the Forest, platforms are fairly wide and there aren't too many creatures to avoid.

Later levels get a lot tougher with the introduction of springs to jump on, narrow landing spaces, switches to hit in sequence and loads of bloody spikes. These latter objects are extremely frustrating as even the slightest contact causes instant death. They're made even more hair shredding by the fact that they're often placed near to objects which stun froggy causing him to fall on them.

Another monitor smashing trick is the use of drop away floors. These appear on later levels and cause the floor to disappear from under Superfrog's feet with no warning. This results in him being dumped back two or three screens just before some tricky obstacle course which you've just completed. This is an old programming trick and a rather dirty one at that. It simply is a means of artificially prolonging gameplay and is a technique not worthy of coders like Team 17.

SECRET WORLDS
Superfrog is a very polished product, possibly the best that Team 17 have ever produced. Their aim was to make a classic in its genre. This they have done, as it has all the elements worthy of such a title.

From the Eric Schwartz intro right through every level the graphics scream workmanship at you - just look at how Superfrog's expression changes to one of grim determination as he breaks into a run. The sound too is apt for the genre and the gameplay never less than gripping.

On a separate point, Team 17 claim the game is compatible with all Amigas but I found that there are occasional problems running it on higher Spec. machines, such as the A1500 and A4000. Problems vary, but they range from corrupt graphics on the fruit machine option to complete crashes. Nevertheless, this game gets my vote.


Superfrog: Worlds
PLAY TO WIN

If you want to get a little further in Team 17's stunner of a platformer we've got the codes for you. If you don't want to cheat close your eyes now and don't open them 'till I tell you.

WORLD 1
No code
WORLD 2
392822
WORLD 3
345222
WORLD 4
467464
WORLD 5
452234
WORLD 6
??????

A DAY IN THE LIFE

Now that the Prince has turned a little green what lies in store for him? Here's a few facts that our once handsome hero should know.

  • Frogs belong to the order Anura which is the largest amphibian family, accounting for 90% of all living species. They are characterised by the complete absence of a tail, the only exception to this being the tailed frog which uses it for mating.
  • All frogs have extremely long and muscular hind legs with four articulating joints, instead of the normal three. This anatomical difference enables the web footed wonders to leap long distances in a single bound, the South American Flying Frogs can even leap from tree top to tree top.
  • Frogs are generally semi-water dwellers and are very sensitive to habitat changes. Some can burrow into the mud and go into suspended animation during the dry season. Others, however, are killed in great numbers by man's interference with their homes The balance is being redressed in the U.S. through by the introduction of frog routes which let migrating froggies the highways without being horribly squished by the passing vehicles.
  • When their thoughts turn to luurve frogs produce thousands of offspring, or tadpoles, in an effort to combat the natural depletion in numbers due to predators and habitat changes. Fortunately most frogs are long lived and thus have the opportunity to breed many times during their lives compensating for these losses. Let's hope that the hero here changes back before he gets too amorous, otherwise the Princess may be in for a bit of a shock!
Superfrog: Photo of a frog

Superfrog CD32 logo CD32 Amiga Computing Silver Award

Yes, it is a platformer with a cute frog in the main role. Is there any species of animal they won't get tarted up with cartoon graphics to make the next platformer look different? I just cannot wait for Arnie the Amoeba or Mickey Microbe to make their screen debut.

Never mind, because at least Team 17's effort is one of the best in the genre and it is now available for the CD32: It shamelessly follows the evil witch-dangerous quest-save the princess clichés, but when it comes to gameplay this one has got a lot to offer.

All the usual features are there: creatures to squash, power-ups (this time its bottles of Lucozade), fruit bonuses and so on. The graphics are colourful and detailed, and the squelchy sounds as you flatten enemy creatures has a certain charm.

Whereas most platformers require the hero to travel mainly in one direction, the layout of levels in Superfrog are less predictable. Finding the exit often involves negotiating your way through underground caverns or leaping up precarious staircases towards the sky.

Another small but welcome difference is the option to gamble the credits earned during the game on a fruit machine at the end of each level. I was about as lucky on this as I am in real life, but if fortune smiles you can increase your score, win extra lives or get a level password by hitting the jackpot.

With four levels to clear on each of the five worlds, it is not a game that will be completed too quickly. In fact I had to give myself seven lives before I could get a look in at the later screens. The theme for each world varies, with our fearless frog progressing from woodland scenes through haunted houses and beyond.

For those who had more than enough of platformers for now, there is not enough new here to entice you back into the genre. But if you are looking for this type of thing, at this price Superfrog could well come to your rescue.

76%


Superfrog CD32 logo CD32

Superfrog (Team 17, 0924-291867, £14.99) is a welcome platform game release on CD32 for two reasons.
The first being the overall quality and polish of the whole production. The standard dumb plot about rescuing someone from a sticky situation and horrible end, collecting shiny, sparkling goodies and jumping on fiendish baddies' heads applies, although the aforementioned baddies don't always die when they should, which is a bit of a downer.

There are six worlds to be travelled through in Superfrog. Each world consists of four levels with a bonus gambling fruit machine at the end of each one. The difficulty curve is just about perfect, the initial levels entice you with their apparent ease. By then, you're totally hooked.

Lots of playability, quality production throughout and most importantly - it's also a second reason for Superfrog being a welcome CD32 release - the excellent price of £14.99, Superfrog is a worthwhile addition to anyone's CD32 collection.



Eine Scheibe Froschschenkel

Superfrog CD32 logo CD32

Der grünhäutige Plattformheld von Team 17 hat sich längst in die Herzen der Spieler gehüpft, sogar in unserer "Aktion Lesertest" hatte er bereits seinen Auftritt - jetzt folgt der Silberfrosch!

Vom schillernden Superfrog darf man sich allerdings nicht allzu viele Neuheiten gegenüber der Amphibie aus dem Disk-Tümpelerwarten: Während das Packungsmotiv komplett renoviert wurde, sind inhaltlich weder zusätzliche Grafik noch mehr Levels zu finden - nicht mal Musik direkt von der CD wird geboten, und selbst das tolle Zeichentrick-Intro von Eric Schwartz ist keine Sekunde länger als ehedem.

Dafür wurde an der auch bisher schon ordentlichen Steuerung noch ein paar bißchen gefeilt, wodurch der putzige Held nun entweder (wie gewohnt) durch beherztes Joystickdrücken zum Hüpfen gebracht wird, oder man erteilt das entsprechende Kommando mit einem beliebigen Pad-Button.

Wo gesprungen und gelaufen wird, befindet sich ja meist auch eine hole Maid in den Klauen eines Bösewichts. Und aus eben diesem Grund kämpft man sich hier als verzauberter Prinz unter Seitdruck durch die sechs großen, in mehrere Abschnitte eingeteilten Levels.

An optischer Abwechslung mangelt es dabei bis zum tränenfeuchten Happy-End nicht, denn gleich zu Beginn hüpft man witzig gestalteten Bienen, Igeln oder Schnecken auf den Kopf; im folgenden Spokschloß sind dann die Gespenster dran usw...

Auf Genreübliches wie Bonusspielchen, Geheimkammern, Sammelmünzen, Zusatz-Froschleben, Energie-Aufpepper und Extras für Sprungstiefel, Schwebeflügel oder Gummiballwaffen muß man ebenfalls verzichten.

Was dagegen seit jeher fehlt, sind dicke Endmonster, ungewöhnliche Attraktionen oder gar innovative Ideen - in der Sache unterscheiden sich die Abschnitte bloß durch ihre Grafik und ehere unspektakuläre Eisflächen, Falltüren oder Stachel-Hindernisse.

Man merkt Superfrog die anderthalb Jahre auf seinem Buckel also an, doch sein faires und temporeiches Gameplay sichert ihm nach wie vor einen Platz in der Plattform-Oberliga. Und Features wie die unabhängig vom Schwierigkeitsgrad einstellbare Anzahl der Leben und reichlich Restartpoints findet man als CD-Jumper halt leider viel zu selten.

Hinzu kommt, daß die knuddelig-bunte Optik flott in alle Himmelsrichtungen scrollt und nett animierte Sprites beherbergt, von der prima Musik (sie gefällt auch ohne direkt von der Schillerscheibe zu kommen) mal ganz abgehört. Und als Trost befinden sich neben dem eigentlichen Game ja doch noch ein paar Neuigkeiten auf der CD: eine spielbare Kurzversion von "Arcade Pool", die nächste Team 17-Ballerei "Super Stardust" als Running-Demo sowie eine komplett deutsche Anleitung.

Das Schönste aber ist, daß die englischen Froschdompteure nicht mehr als 39 Märker sehen wollen. Und weil wir schon viel mehr für viel weniger bezahlt haben, scheint uns der versilberte Plattform-Klassiker schon von daher eine gute Investition zu sein! (rl)



Superfrog CD32 logo CD32

TEAM 17/£15
Amiga version: 78% AP26

In a neat CD-exploiting sort of way, the otherwise identical-to-the-Amiga version of Superfrog also has a playable demo of Arcade Pool and clips of Super Stardust. So that's what it looks like. No, only joking.

There's a great intro to Superfrog animated by TV's famous Eric Schwartz which paints the frog as a coolly cynical sort, with a permanent smirk and piercing eyes peeping out from under half-closed lids, so it's a bit of a surprise to find in the game itself he's a chubby smiling cute thing.

Yup, Superfrog's a cute platformer. A coin-collecting-to-open-the-exit cute platformer, to be exact. With monsters. That you kill by jumping on their heads. And there's a slippy-slidey ice world. And spiked pits that kill you instantly. However!!!!!!!!

The difficulty's very 'there'- you'll get that special bit further each time - and there are some jolly silly (as opposed to joly silly, if you see what I mean) sub-games, like a fruit machine and (apparently) some sort of shoot-'em-up at the end.

It all hangs together well, the scrolling's fine, the levels are big and it's as playable as a cute platformer can be. And if that sounds like a cop-out cliché, so is Superfrog. But in a nice way, of course.



Superfrog CD32 logo CD32

TEAM 17 £14.99 OUT NOW

It's not an easy life being a handsome prince. One day you have the love of a beautiful princess and quite a distinctive jawline, the next you are attacked by a crazy witch, who despises the fact that you shamelessly snog your lovely in public.

She steals your girlfriend from you, and faster than you can say 'Gilette - The Best A Man Can Get', you are magically transformed into a frog. Somehow, though, you have become a particularly energetic frog, capable of pulling super jumps, high speed runs and a semi-flying capacity. With your new found powers, you decide to rescue your other half from the clutches of the witch.

What ensues is one hell of a good platform game. Released at a time when the rest of the Amiga world was cloning Super Mario Brothers, Superfrog borrows more from Sonic The Hedgehog than anything else. Your objective is simple: run around the giant maze like levels collecting a set number of gold coins, avoiding dangerous objects and trying to find the exit as quickly as possible. As you move through the levels, they get bigger and more complicated, and there are more and more nasties out for your froggy blood.

It's a very well presented game, with intro and outro screens drawn by Eric Schwartz. Very smoothly animated, the game was an impressive feat on the A500, but I have to admit I did expect better on the CD32. There have been no enhancements made at all to the game, so what you have is essentially the A500 version - 32 colour graphics and Protracker music.

OK, so it's still a very playable game, and the price is perfect, but I can't help wishing there was something more to it.