Time on Frog Island | PC Review
Time on Frog Island is a sandbox simulation video game developed by Half Past Yellow and published by Merge Games. It is available on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo Switch, and for my review I was playing the Windows PC version, which is available on Steam.
You play as a sailor who is shipwrecked on a strange island after a horrifying storm. You wake to find that your boat has been damaged badly and you must try to gather all the resources needed in order to fix your boat and get off this strange island. You soon find out that the island is inhabited by bizarre, frog-like creatures who can help you get the items you need to repair your ship. But of course they aren’t about to just hand over these precious items for nothing. You will need to explore the island to find objects to trade with your new froggy friends. Along the way you will meet a friendly bunch of characters, while having to solve some head-scratching puzzles and more as your journey takes you around this little island.
It was apparent right from the offset that Time on Frog Island was not going to hold my hand and walk me through the game easily. I spent most of the first hour running around trying to figure out what on earth I was supposed to be doing. There is no dialogue or voice acting in the game so when you talk to any of the inhabitants of Frog Island, there is a speech bubble that appears above their head with little pictures. These actually turn into little puzzles of their own, trying to decipher exactly what items the frog-men want you to retrieve for them. When night falls you will become tired and will need to get some sleep. For this, you need to build a fire by collecting wood and setting up a little campsite with your bed roll. Something I found pretty frustrating is how quickly night time comes around in Time on Frog Island. Trying to find certain items can take a lot of exploring and having to give up for the day because you are getting too tired can itself become a very tiring experience. I feel that just having a little bit more time each day would have made this a much more enjoyable experience.
Although you can play with your keyboard, I found it much easier to control the little sailor with a controller which is what I did for my playthrough. It has a super simple control scheme and it works really well. Visually, Time on Frog Island is very charming and almost has a hand painted feel to it which I really liked. The artwork and character designs are cute and look really nice. The island itself is pretty simplistic with the details but this really fits well in my opinion. The audio design also felt pretty simplistic but again, I think it worked pretty well. With no voice acting, the characters just sort of grunt at each other while they are communicating which was quite amusing at times and also well suited to the whole vibe the game was projecting. The music sat in the background nicely, it didn’t get in the way of the sound effects at all which was great.
There were 4 or 5 times during my playthrough where my character glitched and got stuck in mid air in the falling animation or got stuck in a wall. The only way I could fix this was to quit the game and restart from the last save point which was really frustrating, but hopefully these issues will be ironed out with a patch or update.
Overall, my time on Frog Island was just okay. The artwork and audio design were wonderful but the gameplay fell a little flat for me and it became a little tedious in the end running around a pretty small island just looking for stuff to bring back to trade with the frog people. Personally, I think this would be a perfect game for the Nintendo Switch to chill and pass a few hours at the airport or on the train. So if you are looking for a cute, charming little game to pass a few hours then this is a good choice.
PaultheBrave09’s Rating: 3 toadily awesome froggy friends out of 5.
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Many thanks to Merge Games for the Review Key.