Boomzap Entertainment's Chris Natsuume drops us a line about their new casual game, Frogs In Love. Now there's a title - with a name like that, it's either going to be incredible or the worst thing in the world.
Disappointingly, it's somewhere in between. I'd hoped for some high comedy, but it wasn't really my cup of tea. I have just spent an hour playing it, however, so I might as well write about it in case someone else has a bit more frog-affection than I, or a relative looking for something small'n'sweet to briefly distract them from the futility of existence.
It's a sequence of mini-games linked by a cheery narrative concerning... I can't remember his name, but I shall call him Dave Frog courting, er, Liz Frog. So he travels from pond to pond, theoretically improving stuff like his size and jumping prowess as he completes various challenges. So she's only attracted to muscles and sporting prowess, eh? Clearly Liz Frog is one of those shallow, dead-eyed vanity queens only interested in jocks. This isn't 'love', dammit. This is promoting the Aryan agenda! Only with frogs.
Minigames include catching insects with your tongue, catching insects with your tongue then giving them to other frogs in the right order, racing ducks around a pond via lilypad-hopping, and a Zuma clone. All engaging enough and agreeably rewarding, if on the slight side. The knowingly slight narrative lends a certain sense of purpose to it; as I've only played the demo I haven't actually got to win over Lady Frog, but I'm sure misty-eyed amphibian-fanciers will be deeply moved when they do.
I suspect mentioning Popcap in context to another casual developer carries the same sort of unintended offence as comparing an MMO to World of Warcraft, but I'm afraid I shall have to do it. Frogs shoots for humour, but doesn't achieve that love it/hate it irony-tinge that Popcap manage in their finest hours (Peggle and Bookworm Adventures, specifically). Instead it comes off a bit too baby-talk, and that's grating at times. I'm reasonably confident It Is Not For The Likes Of Us, but I suspect it will be highly appreciated by that stereotype of casual gamers we all have in our heads.
More info and and purchase stuff here. It's $20, which is 2,147.30 Venezuelan Bolivares.