The years may have gifted Mr F Rogger an extra dimension, but they haven't been kind to the road-hopping amphibian's lifespan.
Before, froggy death was the result of careless accident - a stupid animal picking a bad time to cross the road. Now he seems to have picked a fight with an amoral truck driver, who's perfectly happy to barrel through lanes of traffic in his attempts to squash the frog.
What could a three-inch frog have done to the faceless owner of a 40-foot truck to cause his murder spree? Perhaps we'll never know - this Japanese version is fairly impenetrable - but it makes the game incredibly unforgiving.
The first Frogger asked you to stand at the edge of a road, read the gaps, and then jump through the provided holes. This Frogger asks you to do the same, but hurls a four-lane-width lorry at you when you're halfway along. If you're caught out in the middle of the road, you're crow food, and it feels a touch too arbitrary.
This feeling continues, even when you're not being pancaked flat by tonnes of metal. The shift into the third dimension changes the perspective on some levels, switching from a top-down view of your froggy friend to a third-person behindthe- back view.
Some of these levels rely on such pixel-perfect timing that you'll never want to go tadpoling again. One early-ish stage puts you on top of a van as it drives through New York. Signs will flatten you if you don't anticipate them, but the van's roof is littered with lethal holes and there's an eagle circling overhead ready to pick off lingerers.
Soon, you're being coerced into jumping between van roofs and timing your hops between low-hanging traffic lights, oncoming at 50 miles an hour. Torture.
Frogger 3D sashays closer to puzzle game territory later on, losing some of the road-hopping momentum and replacing it with careful planning. Some of these puzzles yield a little thrill on solving them, but the game's reliance on using an arena three times means the tough bits are three times tougher, the boring bits are three times as boring, and the satisfying bits are only satisfying once.
There's not enough new here for players to plough through the frustration, and the result is a game that's too simplistic and too mean to charm.
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Taking a simple formula and injecting it with cruelty is rarely a good way to win new fans. Frustration, thy spirit animal is a digital frog.
- Basic and colourful
- Difficulty spikes will weed out many players