Not that long ago, NimbleBit released a great little casual title called Dizzypad. It was simply making frogs jump across rotating lily pads. I ate this game up, having such a weak spot for cute little frogs. One of the best aspects of the game was that when you unlocked achievements, you would get different colored and patterned frogs.
Someone at NimbleBit saw a really great opportunity and has created this amazing spin-off title to Dizzypad called Pocket Frogs. It combines their lily pad jumping casual title with a time management game and a Pokémon-like collection system. The best part is the thrown in social factor where you can enjoy this game with your friends. Unknowingly (or perhaps knowingly), NimbleBit has created a beast that hungers. It hungers for every second of your free time like no other game I’ve ever played.
In Pocket Frogs, you collect frogs. You’ll start with one frog and two habitats (one regular, and one nursery with cute wallpaper on it). You have to take the frog to the pond and jump him from pad to pad, eating dragonflies. Your first frog will take three flies to “tame,” which will allow you to breed, send, and catalog it. You can hop around the pond as long as you’d like with your frog. The more flies you eat, the happier your frog gets, but the happiness is not required for anything other than breeding. As you hop, you’ll see other frogs. Jump onto the same pad with them, and they give you the option to breed. The happier your frog, the more of its traits that will be passed on to the baby. You’ll also find presents on certain pads. By hopping onto a present, you’ll get coins, stamps, potions, frogs, or decorations.
When you breed your frogs (either randomly in the pond, or specifically in their habitat), the egg will go to the nursery. The nursery can only hold eight frogs/eggs, so it forces you to keep watch over them. The eggs will take different amounts of time to hatch, but can be sped up with potions. Once hatched, you’ll have a baby frog that you need to tame, and let grow. Growing them up can be done in three different ways: You can wait, you can use a potion, or you can take them to the pond and feed them dragonflies. Having that many options really opens the game up to tons of different play styles.
Another way to get new frogs is the frog store. The store offers a new selection of frogs on a daily basis. The frogs are hidden behind a level-cap, so you’ll have to level up to get better frogs. Thankfully, these don’t cost real money. They use in-game coins. Another store gives you the option to spend your coins on decorations for your habitats (which increase base happiness for the frogs there), and backgrounds for your habitats. The backgrounds are completely decorative and serve no real function.
When you buy something in the store, it goes into your mailbox. That means you have to wait to receive it. You can speed up this wait by using your stamps. Personally, I’d advise you to save your stamps, you’ll need them to send frogs to your friends. Using the Plus+ system, you can mail frogs to your friends’ games to help their breeding out. One of my favorite things is waking up in the morning to find out I have a new frog someone bred for me.
While you get experience for breeding and raising frogs, you’ll get your most experience from completing achievements and “quests.” Achievements are just like other games; You have to do something specific and it unlocks. In this case, you’ll also get coins and XP in return. You can also do quests, which involve being asked for a very specific breed of frog, and you subsequently attempting to breed that one. The quest changes daily, so you’ll have to work hard to pull it off in time, if you want the benefit.
While the game is free, it makes its profit by having an in-app purchase system to buy more stamps and potions. This system has proved successful for so many games, at this point, that’s it’s not a surprise to see it used again.
Pocket Frogs is optimized to run on either your iPhone or iPad, but sadly, it doesn’t sync to the cloud. If you want to play on both devices, you’ll need two Plus+ accounts, and two separate save files. I hope this changes, but it’s not a big problem.
My only complaint about this game is the catalog system. When you have a frog tamed, and mature, you can catalog it. That makes it available to purchase later, if you need it for breeding. While that part is necessary for the game, the catalog has a cap on how many frogs you can add to it. Completeists like me will go crazy, because of this. If you’re reading this, NimbleBit, I’d be willing to pay in-app to unlock an unlimited catalog feature. Please make it happen!
If I could have, I would have rated this six stars! 😉 At a cost of free, this game should be on everyone’s iDevice. Just be warned: It’s hard to put it down once you start. If you join the addiction, look me up. My Plus+ account is JadenEternal.