iPhone Review: Pocket Frogs

Some time ago Tap Fish became quite popular on the iPhone. Breeding fish to create new species, buying stuff to keep them happy and making sure you always maintained a top quality set of tanks clearly appealed to those who had always fancied fish but never got round to buying some for real. So what about all those millions of people (maybe) who want to keep… oh I don’t know… frogs?

Enter Pocket Frogs.

As a free app, Pocket Frogs is aimed at pretty much anyone who fancies a crack of frog care. Even if you don’t there’s still a fair amount to be doing to keep you amused for a while if you’re willing to put some initial time in to get past the early stages. You start off with a couple of lonely frogs… young, unable to breed and fairly miserable. By taking each out onto the pond to eat flies you mature your fledgling frogs to a point where they can find more frogs on the pond to mate with. Doing so, while costing a few in-game coins, gives you a new frog that looks a bit like a cross between the two.

Initially this isn’t enormously rewarding – you end up with the same coloured frog just with a couple of small alternatively-coloured spots. But move up through the levels a bit by keeping your frogs happy and you’ll find rarer frogs with far more funky colours, and mating two rarer frogs together can reap much more psychedelic results.

By this time, you’re getting a bit overwhelmed with frogs. You’ll have a few habitats for them, you’ve got loads of decorative stuff keeping them happy, and it hits you. What’s the point in all this? Well, it’s the awards. 66 of them to be precise, all requiring various combinations of ownership, different breeding and so on. 66 is a lot, and it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re trying to achieve, or focus so much on one thing that you totally screw up another.

But there’s charm in this one. It feels relaxing to play, and it looks pretty as well. The end result is worth the toil, but getting through the first few levels is a pain and might put a lot of people off which is a huge shame. The use of the achievements also prolongs what could’ve been a relatively pointless venture and the random outcome of the later mating sessions always makes you eager to see what’s about to appear in your nursery habitat.

Keeping in mind this is a free game, and the amount of time it’ll take you to complete all the achievements (I still have loads to do) it’s an impressive enough package overall. As long as you can cope with the initial few sessions, and the idea of looking after your own crop of frogs appeals, then you’re in the right place.

Price: Free

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