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Frogger was released in 1981 by Konami. The arcade game was distributed in North America by Sega. The object was to move your little frog character across a busy roadway full of cars and trucks that will splat you and then across a river full of moving logs and turtles out to drown you. Once safely across, you had to "dock" your frog safely one of five lily pads. You had limited time. Once you filled all five lily pads, you started again, this time the objects out to splat you moved faster.


While one can probably look back on games like Asteroids, Space Invaders, Defender, Donkey Kong, Joust, and Tron and justify spending all those quarters, Frogger seems rather silly and one wonders why anyone even bothered to play it. Frogger's single innovation was it was arguably the first female-friendly video game. The cute frog, the cute music, the bright graphics, and the job of guiding the poor lil fella home proved popular with the fairer sex. And what a young lady would do for a quarter!



The game proved to be very controversial with the religious fundaMENTAList right. When the frog got splatted, some felt it too closely resembled a crucified man. Jerry Falwell claimed the game was subliminally encouraging youths to commit acts of religious persecution against Christians (i.e., running them over, drowning them, etc.) It's interesting to note, history has proven Falwell's worries false and unwarranted. There was no spike in vehicular assaults on Christians in the months and years after Frogger's release.


Frogger has been ported to nearly every game system ever created. It's also spawned more PC clones than Pac-Man and Space Invaders combined. One of the more successful clones was Preppie. It was written by Rus Wetmore for the Atari 800.


-- Karl Mamer






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