Frog Climbers is a strange little party/arcade game from indie studio TeamCrew that just hit Steam on October 6. It’s really an oddity of a title, and for me it was quite stressful until I got the hang of it, but once you give this one a chance you’ll realize that it has a bit of charm to it.
The premise of Frog Climbers is simple: you play as a frog who likes to scale mountains. However, as you might have guessed, these mountains you face are filled with various challenges, like spinning wheels, swinging vines, and ledges that are all-but-impossible to grab, making death almost a certainty until you truly master the game. The game presents you with a normal mode, a hard mode, and a “wheel mode” that adds a bunch of spinning wheels to the mountain, and in each session the map is generated for you on-the-fly, so if you don’t like the layout you can force the game to create another map for you.
Where things get interesting: you can’t play this one with a keyboard and mouse at all. You have to use a controller, and the controls may be a bit off-putting at first. In order to make your frog climb, you have to control one arm with each of your twin control sticks (PS4 and XBOX One controllers are recommended, and for good cause – I found the Steam Controller hard to use with this one) and use the triggers (left and right) in order to make the hands grab onto something. I spent the first ten minutes or so in frustration trying to figure out how it worked, but once I plugged in a Dualshock 4 controller, things started getting easier for me. Still, there are parts where the controls are downright frustrating and you may find yourself getting very tense, but you’ll get the hang of it and reaching the peak of the mountain for the first time will be all the more satisfying.
Although the game can certainly be played alone, it’s really meant to be more of a multiplayer experience (locally, not online). I can definitely see why the developers said that the game will let you be a “douchefrog” to your friends, but that would also be kind of the point, right?
I will say that although I think the game is cleverly designed, it’s not completely my cup of tea. It’s fun, but it’s a game I’d have to take in very small doses because it’s rather tense and stressful and it’s something that I’d enjoy only when I was in the mood for that kind of hand-eye coordination challenge. Still, I have to commend TeamCrew for coming up with something original here.
Frog Climbers is available on Steam for just $6.99, so if you’re looking for something different to try that you can play in small doses, I’d say give it a whirl!