Allen Banks, Accountant by Day, Frog by Night. 1982 Frogger ad
Frogger was one of the first video games I played and probably the first home video game I played. It’s certainly the first one I remember playing. Sometime around Christmas of 1983 I was over at a friends house. He had an Atari 2600. I don’t recall if he had gotten it for Christmas or already had it but I know it was around Christmas time because he had a Christmas tree up. Anyway, the one game I remember playing is Frogger.
Frogger was originally developed by Konami and released in 1981 as an arcade game. The Atari 2600 port by Parker Brothers came along in 1982 and there are way too many ports, clones, remakes and re-releases to mention. For the early ports, Parker Brothers was responsible for the cartridge based versions and Sierra was responsible for the disk based versions. This meant some platforms (like the Commodore 64) had two versions of the game. The Atari 2600 port was a good one for that system and of the contemporary ports was probably the most played.
Frogger is kind of a platform game but played from an overhead perspective. Your goal is to guide five frogs from the bottom the screen to the top. You must pass through a number of lanes of traffic without being squashed. Afterwards, you have a brief respite and then you must cross a river by hopping across logs and the backs of turtles that may sink and drown you and alligators that may do the same or eat you if you get to close to their mouth. After successfully navigating five frogs, you will progress to the next level which is much the same, just harder and faster. Frogger was a very unique and popular game for its time and is definitely one of the all time classics.
There are numerous ways to play Frogger today. If you want to give the Atari 2600 version a try I’m not sure there is an easy way aside from emulation. There is a version of frogger on some of the Atari Flashback consoles but it is a remake, not the original Atari 2600 version. There are of course many better versions out there including those that are arcade perfect.
The ad and screenshots above are for the Atari 2600 version of Frogger.