The Official Frogger

The Official Frogger

Company: Starpath / Arcadia
Model #:
Stephen Landrum
Year: 1983
Port of the 1981 Sega arcade game

Frogger by Starpath?  How did that happen?  Wasn't Frogger released by Parker Bros. on the Atari 2600?  How did Starpath get away with doing their own version?  The answer to this question lies in how the game rights were assigned.  It's true that Parker Bros. had the cartridge rights to Frogger and published every cartridge version of the game, but Sierra On-Line had the 'magnetic media rights' meaning disks and tapes which were used by home computers.  Since the Supercharger was unique in that it was a tape interface for the Atari 2600, it meant that Starpath could sub-license the rights from Sierra who had no intention of doing a tape port for the 2600.  Since Sierra called their version 'The Official' Frogger (even though the Parker Bros. version was official as well), that's what Starpath called their version.  Starpath even licensed the original artwork from Sierra for their packaging.


Originally developed by Konami and released in the US by Sega, Frogger is a fast paced action game where you must guide your little frog from the bottom of the screen, through a busy roadway, over a river. and into one of five 'homes' at the top of the screen before time runs out.  Frogger has no defenses so he must simply hop quickly around enemies or he'll be killed.  After Frogger makes his way to all five homes he'll move onto the next screen where enemies move faster and new enemies show up.

The roadway section consists of five lanes of various vehicles including cars, sports cars, bulldozers(!), and semis.  Cars tend to travel is groups, but there's always room enough between them for Frogger to slip through.  Different lanes of traffic move at different speeds, so you'll have to be careful not to stay too long in the 'fast lane'.  One you make it through all five lanes of traffic you'll come across a 'safety barrier' which separates the road from the river.  This is a good place to take a quick breather, but starting on level 3 a snake will start roaming this area so be careful.  Much like the crocodile, only the head of the snake can harm Frogger, so feel free to jump on his body if need be.  Interestingly snakes do not appear on the logs at higher levels like they do in the arcade version.


Once you reach the river you'll have to carefully jump from turtle to log in order to make it home.  the river constantly flows to the right so Frogger will have to do some quick hopping and backtracking to reach the left most homes.  Depending on how the difficulty switches are set, drifting off the edge of the screen will either wrap Frogger around to the other side (making those left homes easier to get to) or kill him.  Touching the water is deadly (I guess Frogger is the only frog who doesn't know how to swim), as it touching the wall between the homes.  Making things more difficult is that turtles will occasionally dive under the water taking Frogger to a watery grave if he's still on them (you'll get a warning shortly before they dive).  Starting on level 2 a crocodile will being appearing in place of one of the logs on the top level.  The crocodile is safe to jump on and ride, but touching his head is deadly.  Speaking of crocodile heads, one will occasionally appear in a random home at the top of the screen.  Jumping into the home while the crocodile head is there is deadly.  Starting on level 3 an otter will appear in the center row of the river and quickly swim from right to left.  Touching the otter is deadly (or being touched by him while on the edge of the log), but other than that he doesn't pose much of a threat.



There are two bonus items that Frogger can capture for big points.  Occasionally on a log you'll see a pink 'lady frog'.  Touching her will turn Frogger pink and green.  If you manage to make it home while you have the lady frog you'll score 200 extra points.  The second bonus item is a fly that will randomly appear in one of the homes, touching this is also worth 200 points.  Frogger will score an extra life at 20,000 points so make sure you grab as many bonus points as you can.


The Starpath version of Frogger is very well done.  All the enemies from the arcade version are present (including the otter which is usually cut from most ports), there's several different musical pieces throughout the game, and the graphics are pretty good.  About the only thing missing, oddly enough, is a proper title screen.  The game simply starts up with a blank screen that has the players score and the current high score on it.  Why Starpath didn't have even a basic text title screen as they did in many of their other games is unknown.  Even without a title screen, the Starpath port of Frogger is leaps and bounds above the Parker Bros. version and is the one you should be playing if you have a chance.

Version Cart Text Description
6/15/83 Frogger June 15th, 1983
Incomplete!  For Demo Only!
Copyright 1983 Starpath
WIP version
Final Version


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