Thursday, September 30, 2010

App O' The Mornin: Froggy Launcher Review

Of making many vertical jumping games, there is no end. Froggy Launcher is the latest to take bits of Bird Strike and Doodle Jump and make them again, only with a different character.

I’m already on the record expressing my approval of adding frogs to pretty much anything, including soup. (Unless, of course, that anything is a compulsion loop game, in which case people are just manipulating your froggy love and should be punished accordingly.)

Froggy Launcher is a perfectly decent riff on the vertical jumper, with a nicely animated ragdoll frog collecting coins, gems, and boosters as he tries to reach ever-higher. He is initially launched by a simple pullback input (just like Bird Strike), and after that you just keep the jump going by tapping him. Tilt controls shift him right or left, with the graphics wrapping around. (In other words, if he exits screen right, he’ll re-enter screen left.)

Along the way, he picks up different objects to help him, such as a laser that keeps him from falling off the screen, a rocket booster, balloons for floating, and soforth. It’s all familiar, but it works well enough.

Froggy Launcher also has a feature called “pimp my frog.”

(Let me just pause for a moment and beg everyone to please stop saying this. I know “pimping [some object]” is now part of the vernacular for customizing things, but it still has its origin in a fairly nasty profession based on the criminal exploitation of women. Every time someone says this, Henry Fowler weeps with the angels.)

Anyway, “pimp my frog” allows you to buy accessories for your frog, ranging from new outfits to gear that actually helps with the game.

Now, pay close attention. Froggy Launch is free, but it includes both in-games ads and in-app purchases. All the really cool froggy gear costs a lot of gems; more than a normal person could ever earn in the course of playing the game. You can, however, buy 255 gems for the low low price of $4. I really don’t want a hat for my frog so much that I’d ever do this, but obviously someone does or the business model would fail. And internet-based business models never fail, right?


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