Frogger II: Threeedeep
While not nearly as successful as its predecessor, Frogger II was a unique three screened "forge ahead" action game. Although the overall game goal stayed the same (get your frog home), the action elements changed dramatically. Unlike Frogger, Frogger II was an original game by Parker Brothers and not based on an existing arcade game.
Frogger II is separated into three different screens: Underwater, Surface, and Air. Each of these screens contains a certain number of berths (homes) that you must fill. The three screens are also connected, so if you fall out of the air you'll land in the land screen, and if you fall into the water on the land screen you'll end up in the underwater screen. This idea of connected screens makes the game much more enjoyable (and complex).
This is where you start out each level, at the bottom of a lake. Here Frogger must make is way to the top of the screen and fill all the log berths which float across the top of the screen. Unfortunately there are a lot of things between the lake bottom and the surface. Rows of large fish swim back and forth across the screen, and these fish would like nothing better than to have Frogger for lunch. Also blocking Frogger's path are rows of alligators (I guess we're in Florida), which also wouldn't mind a froggy snack. Larry the eel also makes an appearance on this screen blowing bubbles from the bottom of the screen. While Larry is deadly to the touch, his bubbles are worth big bonus points so try and grab as many as you can.
Take heart that not everything is deadly on this screen. The rows of small brightly colored fish are safe to touch, and will help prevent Frogger from being splattered against the side of the screen by the current. Also, If you feel that there's too much traffic in your way, you can hitch a ride on Joe the diving turtle. Joe will safely bring you to the middle of the screen (you have to make it the rest of the way on your own). If you want to go to the surface of the lake (and to the next screen), simply jump on one of the floating logs (but not into a berth). Oh and be careful not to let the current carry you off the side of the screen, Frogger still hasn't gotten the hang of "wraparound".
The surface of this lake is also teeming with life, fortunately for Frogger most of the creatures on this screen are helpful and won't kill him. Frogger starts off on some lily pads, jumping on these lily pads is worth bonus points but they disappear when you jump off so be careful. At the higher levels the lilly pad pattern will change, and a shark will patrol the area (I thought we were in a lake?). Now make your way onto the alligators (watch the mouths) and to the row of baby ducks. The babies are safe to ride on but watch out for Momma!
From the ducks, jump onto the hippos (they'll shake you off at higher levels so be careful), and then onto the whale. Mr. Whale has a bad tendency to dive under the surface at the higher levels so make sure you get off quickly. From the whale make your way to the turtles (which also dive at the higher levels) and onto the life preservers that are pulled by the tugboat (Oh and don't smack into the tugboat!). If you want to go back to the underwater screen simply jump into the water (simple as that), but if you want to go to the air screen you need to jump on Momma duck's back. Be careful though, jumping on her head is still deadly! If you manage to touch all the lilly pads and reach the life preserver you will get a massive "super bonus". Try to do this as often as possible, as it really helps in getting extra lives.
Frogger has finally made it to that deluxe apartment in the sky! Well maybe not, but he is airborne and needs to get past a nasty old dragon to make it home. Clyde the dragon likes to roam the sky protecting all those tasty butterflies (which Frogger can munch for points). Make sure Frogger doesn't come in contact with Clyde or he'll croak (I bet you were wondering when I was going to say that). Also note that for each butterfly that Frogger eats, a hole will appear in the clouds. If Frogger falls through this hole he'll plummet back to the lake surface, so unless that's the route you want to go be careful.
Unbeknownst to most people, clouds are incredibly bouncy! In fact Frogger can use the clouds to propel himself skyward and grab onto those low flying birds. You can also bounce off of Clyde's wings, but this is rather tricky to do. By jumping form bird to bird (and the occasional pterodactyl), Frogger can make his way to the cloud berth at the top of the screen. Watch out for the plane at the higher levels, as little frogs were not meant to fly in planes! Also watch out for Bertha the black butterfly. Bertha looks like a regular butterfly but is all black, and she appears only from level six onwards. In case you didn't guess it yet, she's deadly to the touch. If you've happened to earn 2,000 points somewhere along your journey, you will see a stork carrying a little bundle of froggy joy that replaces the plane for a limited period of time. Touch the stork and you'll earn an extra life (gotta love how they make you work for it in this game).
While Frogger II may not bear much resemblance to
its predecessor, it's still a fun game. Frogger II is one
of the few sequels to a popular game that managed to improve
upon the original, without sacrificing any of the fun. The
one thing I could never understand is why the heck they called
it Threeedeep (that's three e's). I'm sure marketing
probably thought it sounded cool at the time.
Interestingly the Atari 5200 version of Frogger II is missing
the two player feature that was present in the Atari8-bit
port. The reason the second player was taken out is