The life of a tree frog seems like utter bliss. All you’ve gotta do is climb trees, spit out some ribbits here and there, and snag unsuspecting insects to fatten your belly right? Wrong! When you play Croak! the life of a tree frog seems like utter chaos. Try bobbing and weaving around striking venomous snakes, sticky tongued frog leg loving chameleons, and nimble lemurs as you fire your tongue at tasty winged tidbits. It’s no simple task and certainly not The Life of Riley.
Created by Rather Odd Computing, Croak! reminds me a lot of Sticky Licky, except with a number of twists that make it a bit more interesting and difficult. Typically in games like this you just fire off a sticky tongue and real in insect after insect, while trying to avoid things like bees and other prickly buggers. Well, in Croak! you’ve got to catch food, but you need to avoid random frog eating predators that appear docile and then strike when you least expect it. To avoid getting eaten you must preemptively tilt your iPhone/iPod touch/iPad to hop your frog out of the way. The further you get in the game the more sly and unpredictable the frog eaters become.
If you’re a fan of 2D arcade games then you’re going to enjoy Croak! The challenge within the game leans less toward the difficulty of capturing the insects and more toward remaining aware of the imminent strike from a predator and you’re ability to swiftly avoid their attack while remaining efficient at capturing your dinner. The quicker you can master the multi-tasking nature of the game the further you’ll advance. As you become better you’ll unlock more and more themes, tree frog species, dinner options, and blood thirsty predators.
After a few goes with Croak! it was clear to me that I’ve got to put in a little more practice before I can sit atop the Open Feint global leaderboard. The game comes across as being really easy until you’ve waded a few levels deep, after that it begins to bear teeth. I zoomed through the first eight levels in a matter of minutes, but soon after hit a bit of a snag. My three lives dissapeard in the blink of an eye as it seemed the snake had figured out my every move. I elected to adopt a float like a butterfly method, keeping my frog constantly on the move. This worked for a few more levels, but after a while it mattered not. The snake operates under a cloak of unpredictability and strikes swiftly. Once you’ve reached a certain point in the game luck is out the door and you’ve really got to stay focused on both dinner and the snake, timing your every move perfectly in order to earn points and stay alive at the same time.
Overall Croak! is a very fun arcade style game. The first half a dozen or so levels feel a bit mundane, but after that you’ve really gotta step up your game. It’s fast paced and great for picking up and killing short windows of time. The graphics and sounds are decent and the game becomes quite addictive once you’ve unlocked a few frogs, predators, and themes. It’s definitely a great value for the $0.99 price point and well worth the download.
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