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Kotaku's Gaming App of the Day 2-28-12

Don't Fry the Frog is a new game from Blacktorch Games bringing you the best in frog-hoppin' fly fryin' romp through the swamp action!

-Complete more than 100 missions!
-Increase your frog level!
-Earn valuable Fly Pennies !
-Unlock powerful new Shiny Flies!
-Deploy special tools like Bug Spray or the Tin Foil Hat to give your frog an edge!
-Customize your game with new beams and backgrounds!
-Show off your fryin' skills and compare with friends online!

Your frog has overindulged, and if he eats any more flies, he'll explode! Help him stick to his strict diet by fryin flies before he can eat them! But be careful! Some special flies are really unhealthy if your frog gets ahold of them, and must be fried at all cost! Others are packed with vitamins and are good for your frog to eat! And whatever you do, DONT FRY THE FROG!

Don't Fry the Frog features a unique control scheme, bringing multi-touch gaming to a new level! Just touch the screen in two places to create your fryin' beam, then slide across the screen to fry those unhealthy flies! Move your fingers closer together or farther apart, and the beam will shrink or grow to match your movements! But look out for your frog's tongue!

Kevin_porras's comments:

Hey guys,

My name is Kevin Porras and for the last year or so, I've been working on a game called Don't Fry the Frog.

I met a bunch of fellow classmates at the NYU Game Center and after graduation, we decided to just try to make a damn game already.

Our game came out today and is free on the app store. We would really appreciate people checking it out. Please give us feedback too! We are really open to it and like to think that indie games are a real community collaboration.

You can get it here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dont-fry-the-frog%21/id498175623?ls=1&mt=8

Also, check out our ridiculous trailer below!:

Youtube link | Pop Up

And our website if you get the chance:
02-23-2012, 05:53 PM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 2
This is my first game in the App Store and we're very excited. Please check it out!

02-23-2012, 07:03 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Minneapolis, USA
Posts: 3,654

02-23-2012, 07:54 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 5
Please check it out!
02-25-2012, 09:13 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 26
Game Impressions

I think this game deserves a bit more attention than what this deserted thread gives it, so here's a little review after spending a quick hour on the game.

I played the game on my iPhone 4.

I like the core game mechanic. I think it's new and unique, but I haven't played every single iOS game out there, so correct me if I'm wrong. That frantic feeling you get when expanding and contracting the electric beam just to kill off the fly your frog's about to eat while barely missing his tongue is great. It's simple enough to figure out, so it can definitely appeal to a wider audience than some of the more complicated games out there.

The combo system works great, for the most part. You can either keep holding down both fingers to keep your combo going but risk losing almost your entire multiplier bar, or you can lift and shift the positions of your fingers and lose a few bars for the short period, but ultimately be able to dodge stuff more safely. Kinda gives players the option to go for high risk high reward, or low risk low reward based on the situation.

Unfortunately, although I found the core game mechanic fun and unique... It is still flawed, simply because you're required to have both your fingers on the screen most of the time, and all the action is going on at the same time on that limited amount of screen space. The iPhone is already a relatively small device with a decently sized, but still small, screen. The game requires you to constantly keep both your fingers on the screen if you want to score big, but in order to do that, you're gonna have to move your fingers around to make sure your beam doesn't touch the frog/good flies. However, since your fingers are constantly on the screen, they limit what you can see, hence making it a lot harder to see what's coming from the sides of the screen, making it very counter-productive with the whole "keep your fingers on the screen!" thing. Now, I have very small fingers (and thumbs, which were what I used to play the game with) so I wasn't facing TOO many problems with not being able to see whats on the screen, but there were a number of times where I'd be dodging and killing stuff, getting a big multiplier, when all of a sudden the whole "DONT TOUCH THE ICE FLY" message shows up, and I'm like, "where on earth did that thing even come from?". So yeah. I'm not too sure if there's anything you can really do about it since this mechanic pretty much IS the game... But just pointing it out. On the bright side, the game probably works much better with the iPad with its much larger screen size (i don't know though, since I haven't personally tested it out on one).

Dying is also a little iffy in the game. Firstly, the frog dying just looks kinda weird and wonky. Not the animation, it's just that the entire death --> respawn sequence looks a little weird to me. Don't really know what it is, but maybe it's just me. The player is given 3 lives per game, which seems like a good idea since it supposedly gives the player extra tries if they make a mistake, but the lives are almost completely useless sometimes (especially if you die when the spawn rate of flies has gone up considerably) since the screen just fills up with a whole swarm of flies and it's seemingly impossible to kill them all off without touching an enemy or the frog by mistake. I've played a number of rounds where I reach a pretty good score (50k ish) then kill the frog by accident. I then proceed to lose my 2 remaining lives immediately because it was impossible for me to kill off the entire screen of flies in time. Maybe I just suck at the game, but I'd suggest having the frog's death cause all the flies currently on screen to die, so that the player can start fresh. Right now, the extra lives feel almost pointless to me except for deaths at very early points of the game.

Oh, and I think you should get rid of the "DONT FRY THE FROG!" sign that pops up everytime you start a new game, since it slows down people who want to play the game repeatedly.

The game's art direction feels suitable for the game's theme, but I can't help but feel like it looks a little unprofessional. (eg. the item shop menu looks crudely draw, and when you equip the frog with the hat: LOL).

I've also experienced a couple of crashes in the middle of a game, but with no telltale signs of what actually caused them. A few minor bugs too, like the infected flies not dying even though I pass the electric beam through it multiple times (had to lift and place my fingers back down again to kill it).

I should mention that while I did glance through the item shop and read through most of the item descriptions, I didn't purchase or try any of them out (except for the hat, which was given after leveling up I think). They seem pretty cool, and if purchasing and using the fly upgrades/tools dismiss any of the points I brought up above, then I apologize!

Those were most of the things I wanted to address and I hope you guys find it helpful, but here's a TL;DR personal summary of the game's pros and cons:

+ It's free
+ Unique, fun, and frantic gameplay
+ Seemingly tons of content and unlockables

- Lacks a tad bit more of polish, some effects and art look unprofessional
- I experienced some crashes and bugs
- Fingers disrupt view on iPhone/iPod touch devices
- Frog extra lives feel pretty useless when tons of flies fill up the entire screen during death

Edit: Just realized there's a bug spray item to kill all flies on screen, so it makes sense that flies would swarm the screen during deaths to force players to spend pennies (or get IAP) for the bug spray item. Probably makes my point invalid, but I'll just leave it there anyway!

Overall a pretty good game considering it's completely free, but the fact that your fingers are constantly on-screen might make the game unplayable for people with smaller iDevices and larger hands.

I wish you guys the best of luck on the game and your future indie game development endeavours!
02-25-2012, 09:38 AM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by mmeyers View Post
This is my first game in the App Store and we're very excited. Please check it out!
This is my first game in the App Store and we're very excited. Please check it out
02-25-2012, 03:23 PM
Give it a try! :D

Hey there! We're really excited about Don't Fry the Frog!, our first iOS offering! Let us know what you think!
02-25-2012, 04:24 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Manhattan
Posts: 6
Hey ChronoCat,

Thanks a lot for taking the time to try out and review our game.

Working around the players fingers was definitely something we had in mind while developing. You are totally right about a lot of problems the control scheme introduces, but we tried our best to make sure that the player was not frying healthy flies/the frog inadvertently.

One thing we actually do is check where the players fingers are at all times and attempt to spawn flies in the quadrants where the player isn't already. I agree though, we still have some work to do to make it even less likely that the player will mess up as a result of something other than skill. Deaths like that in games I play frustrate me too.

I'm also really glad you liked the combo system. It seems to have the exact effect we desired on a player like yourself!

Again, thanks a lot for the feedback and your time. Hopefully you are around for our next game!
02-28-2012, 06:05 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Manhattan
Posts: 6
Hey guys just an update here!

We got on Kotaku!

We are also adding new background and a ton of hats in the next update.
Hope you guys enjoy.