D'you ever get that feeling... you know, like when you're a toad who's really a prince, 'cos you've been transformed by a wicked witch? And you're looking for the princess who'll snog you back into a prince again? Yeah, you know the feeling. And you have to kill the Stone Master? Yep, happens every day, dunnit?
This is the next step in world domination from the programmer of Riddler's Den, a somewhat similar tramp through the catacombs in search of arcade adventure. Although bearing some resemblance to Riddler's in its gameplay - the use of four numbered pockets for example - it's a completely different toadgame.
You've got to find the Princess... but that's not quite as easy as it sounds, 'cos in your way are a drooling host of the Stone Masters evil minions. To foil these foul pests (spit) you have to manipulate objects you encounter, shuffling them round in your 'pockets' until you devise a method to see them off.
As a game it's an entertaining plod across the lily pad, but not a particularly thrill-powered one. But having said that, I'd probably play it quite a lot, 'cos I like a challenge... Just one major criticism, though. There's something called a triple exit - a fiendish device consisting of three 'out' doors. Concealed beyond the screen are deadly hazards that lurk in just two of the exits. Until you go through one you don't know which ones hold the hazard. If you guess wrong, you're not only dead for your current life, but you lose all your remaining lives too! Okay, so you restart the game and decide to try the triple exit again, this time trying a different exit. Then you find that the hazards are set up randomly each time you restart the game! How are you meant to win? There are several of these unguessable trails in the game, just sitting there waiting to sow untold frustration and sudden death on an unwitting player. So, be warned!
However, it's actually quite a good game - the graphics are very twee, especially the little froggy character. In fact I like being a frog so much that I might not even bother finding the princess at all!
Amstrad & Spectrum
You have had a bad day. The wizard Stone Master has turned you into a frog - a letdown for a Prince. So, to get out of the tight spot, you have to find a Princess with a penchant for puckering-up to amphibians. On the way you should dispose of the Wizard, plus many assorted hazards around the maze.
Although the 2D maze consists of a mere 60 screens, the vast amount of to-ing and fro-ing involved in solving the various problems makes it seem far bigger. It is all done against a limit of 75 toad time units or you dry out and go to that great lily pad in the sky.
Your toad is equipped with four pockets in which to put the various objects needed to solve the problems. They often involve the combination of two objects at once. You have five lives, various objects drain your energy, but you can fight back, hacking things to pieces with your axe.
The game is very colourful, with plenty of pleasant animation - like snoring dragons or berserk bees. Just solving the problems will be difficult and it will take you a great deal of practice to be able to solve them quickly enough to complete the quest.
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