Frogun Review (Switch eShop) | Nintendo’s life

Captured on Nintendo Switch (docking station)

In an age where game developers are constantly striving to create something photorealistic and fully immersive, we’re starting to lose touch with the games that kept us awake at night as kids. Luckily Molegato, the developer of Frogun, kept that in mind when making this retro-styled puzzle platformer.

The story of Frogun follows Renata, the friendly, outgoing and exciting daughter of two world famous explorers. But when she’s gone to her family’s base camp for a few days, she takes it upon herself to rescue her parents from the ruins of Beelzebub – the most dangerous expedition her family has ever undertaken. So, trusting her trusty Frogun (a frog-like invention that can grab anything with its tongue), Renata sets off into the ruins to try to find her parents.

Even though the story is an age-old tale, it doesn’t get tedious or repetitive. Usually adventure-based games rely on their story to show emotional character development, but Frogun takes us back to basics and reminds us of what is, and always has been, great about gaming – fun. . The game can be played with or without the story in mind, which we particularly liked. This instantly makes Frogun replayable, but pair it with its sometimes punishing level design, and you have no choice whether to replay it or not.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (docking station)

The mechanics are relatively simple, with two buttons that control your Frogun and allow Reneta to jump. A short in-game tutorial guides you by holding down the R button to slow down your jump descent and allow more space for longer chests as you progress through realms and become more reliant on Leaps of Faith . While this tutorial seems simple to complete at first, as the gaps between floating objects get wider and wider for Renata, these jumps will have you closing your eyes and hoping you have both feet on solid ground.

With a title so dependent on its platform, the controls should come with unparalleled fluidity, and this is where we faced one of the only challenges throughout this game. Although the controls are basic , aiming and landing successfully with Frogun seems more dependent on luck than skill. Aiming the gun sometimes seems nearly impossible, and standing straight up against a wall or on a platform will cause your gun target to veer slightly to the right. But an upcoming patch has promised some minor quality of life changes that will make the game slightly smoother and a bit fairer.

After falling and repeating several times on each level, you start to get a feel for the platform, which is when Frogun’s true colors shine through. The story takes Reneta through five different realms, all of which contain a host of different enemies and obstacles. Additionally, there are several collectibles and goals to complete at 100% of a level. Although each completed race rewards you with a bronze fly amulet, completing specific goals such as collecting each coin will upgrade the brooch. Unfortunately, there are no rewards or buffs for completing each objective, but the amulet certainly looks pretty when completed.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (handheld/undocked)

In each standard level, a race and a boss battle provide a breath of fresh air before the levels become too frustrating to repeat. The races between Reneta and Jake are fun but arguably the most disappointing element of the game and are easily the most frustrating element of the gameplay that kept us stuck for hours trying to progress. With the title of “racing”, you expect to move quickly and tactically, but you have to wait for Jake to move before you can even think about it.

Every time Renata gets too close to Jake, she takes damage, which is nearly impossible to avoid due to the one-way paths you both have to take before reaching the finish line. Sure, there are several shortcuts and a few somewhat risky maneuvers you can perform to get a head start, but they have to be executed perfectly or you might as well start over.

However, the boss battles that start at the end of each realm are a redeeming factor. While you face numerous bug-based enemies and the occasional rodent in each area, the boss fights introduce towering terrors with an easy-to-remember moveset. So, by repeating the same moves each turn, you need to eliminate three to five life points before claiming your victory. As for the boss fights, they won’t prevent you from completing the game.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (handheld/undocked)

But Frogun’s main draw is its pixel-perfect art style and accompanying 16-bit soundtrack, which perfectly captures the essence of retro gaming. Big polygons and bright colors dominate every realm you explore, from snow-capped mountains to the depths of unstable volcanoes. Unfortunately, the intentionally simple design can feel overwhelming at times due to a mass of moving objects on the screen, such as coins or falling ribbons, causing the frame rate to drop. Yet other than that, Frogun certainly looks the part.

To match its upbeat nature, the soundtrack features a steadily rising tension while maintaining Frogun’s bright, fun energy. As you get deeper into the game and reach new depths in the ruins of Beezlebub, this tension only intensifies without losing any of its friendly and approachable atmosphere. The competitive and fast-paced nature of the game is perfectly captured by a vast array of appropriate tunes matching the realm Renata set out to explore.

Conclusion

Frogun sets out to do exactly what it sets out to do. There’s more than enough to enjoy in the game, with around five hours of campaign time to play and the added replayability of finding collectibles you may have missed the first time around. And, although the story is simple, at no time did we get bored. Even the frustration of repeated levels truly mirrors the early games. It’s safe to say that Frogun manages to evoke that 90s retro style puzzle platformer.