Hoped to be a rival to Mario and Sonic, Superfrog was the Amiga's very own icon. The game was a side-scrolling platformer with 24 levels across six different environments, developed by Team17 before their success with the Worms franchise.
Plot & Setting
The game takes after typical fantasy cliches, with a prince and bride-to-be despised by an evil witch, who kidnaps the bride and transforms the prince into a (sentient, but physically normal) frog. At first hopeless, he is sitting by a river when a magic potion floats by and, upon drinking it, he is transformed into the SuperFrog of the title.
In the first world, Enchanted Forest, SuperFrog hunts for the golden key required to unlock the witch's castle. After searching the Spooky Castle in the second world, he is "captured by Colin the Troll", caged and sent to a circus. His escape from the circus fills the third world, Fun Land, with the frog-prince leaving via a time machine he discovers. This takes him to the fourth world, Ancient Pyramid, but he is unable to reverse the time machine and freezes himself in suspended animation until the present day. He awakes in the fifth world, Ice Caverns, eventually arriving at a rocket which he uses to travel to the final world, the witch's Space Station. After travelling through the station he arrives at the witch's lair and rescues his bride.
In the end cutscene, the two share a kiss once again, but instead of restoring the prince it transforms the bride into a frog as well.
The drink Lucozade is what gives SuperFrog his powers, and a detailed bottle is shown during the intro sequence. Cans are also available as pickups throughout levels (providing substantial point bonuses among other effects), and the jackpot on the gambling machine requires three Lucozade cans.
The game was one of the earliest to feature product placement, particularly a brand with little impact on the game (instead of games about brands, or sports games with real teams), but not the first.
In a reversed scenario, adverts for SuperFrog are also present in the earlier Team17 game Alien Breed.
The game is similar to other platformers of the time, particularly Sonic and Mario, with large 2D levels, enemies, hidden areas, high speeds, and plenty of collectibles and pickups.
The game is broken into six themed worlds of four levels each - forest, castle, circus, history, ice and space - which must be played in order (though level codes can be used to start at any particular level). Levels have time limits (explained as your superpower energy expiring, with small extensions by collecting Lucozade) and can't be exited until a certain number of coins are collected. At the end of each world, SuperFrog must fight the witch in a simple boss battle.
Worlds and levels often include unique features or enemies. Water is occasionally present but (as the player is a frog) harmless and only causes a small slowdown - with the exception of water in the Ice Caverns, which is filled with frozen ice spikes, and some dripping boiling water in the Fun Land, which burns SuperFrog.
Pickups & Collectibles
All levels include a number of coins, fruit and gems, along with rarer high-scoring items and bottles of Lucozade. All add points to the player's score, with bonuses awarded for collecting large amounts of fruit/coins/Lucozade (items in hidden areas are included in these totals). Of these, only coins are required to be collected for the level's exit to open, but the number of coins on a level is always far more than the 'toll' required. An extra life is provided at every 200,000 points scored.
SuperFrog starts with a number of lives (three by default, though options also allow 1 or 5), each with five health bars. Attacks from or contact with most enemies take off one piece of health, stun SuperFrog, and knock him out of the air if jumping, but also provide a short period of invulnerability to recover. Other environmental hazards such as spikes and fire will kill Superfrog immediately regardless of health or temporary invulnerability. Although some are immortal and must be avoided, SuperFrog can kill some enemies with the Destructo-Spud pickup or by jumping on them.
There are also several pickups which affect SuperFrog directly:
- Pills, which are used immediately when picked up
- Restart Pills - SuperFrog spawns at the most recently-collected Restart Pill upon death (otherwise at the level start)
- Speedup/slowdown pills - change the speed that SuperFrog moves for a short time, and usually placed in helpful rather than dangerous places
- Invisibility - SuperFrog becomes temporarily invisible (except for his eyes, to assist the player) and invulnerable to most enemies
- Abilities, which last until SuperFrog dies or the level ends. Levels usually have duplicates of each; collecting extras adds score but doesn't increase the effect.
- Destructo-Spud - a short-range weapon that can be thrown at some enemies or objects to destroy them. It returns automatically after being thrown, can't be killed, and can be used repeatedly.
- Frog Wings - allow higher jumps, limited flight, and can be used to slow falls (although the game does not include fall damage, spikes and other dangers are often hidden in pits).
- Frog Dolls, which award an extra life immediately.
Completed Level Minigame
At the end of each level the player is awarded credits based on the time remaining, amount of fruit collected and the number of coins collected. These can be convertered directly to points to increase the player's score, or used in a slot machine for potentially bigger or better rewards. Prizes range from 10,000-75,000 point bonuses, extra lives, or a code to skip to the just-completed level (the only way to acquire them in-game). The slot machine is fairly complex, with several ways to win - gambling winnings for higher rewards, a simpler "Hi-Lo" feature, or getting three Lucozade cans which awards the Jackpot prize of points, credits and the level code.
The Amiga versions include a bonus level between worlds 5 and 6 (i.e. approaching the Space Station), based upon the previous Team17 game Project X, named 'Project F'. The game plays like a basic side-scrolling shoot-'em-up, with the original spaceship replaced with SuperFrog in a space helmet.
The PC game is the only version that includes gambling after completing the final level, including a prize of a (non-functional) level code.
End of Game Rankings
Superfrog included a rating system that awarded the player a title when they finished the game, with the rank determined by overall score (and level scores determined by time, pickups, and luck/skill at the gambling machine).
- Mr Ploppy
- Frog Spawn
- Tadpole Grade 3
- Tadpole Grade 2
- Tadpole Grade 1
- Rookie Frog Grade 3
- Rookie Frog Grade 2
- Rookie Frog Grade 1
- Frog with a Purpose
- Frog with a Mission
- Chuffed Frog
- Frog Veteran
- Mean Green Machine
- Super Frog Grade 3
- Super Frog Grade 2
- Super Frog Grade 1
- Frog God
The game allowed high scores to be saved to a disk for 'a permanent record of your achievement', although it recommended against using the disks that SuperFrog was played from for obvious reasons.