I’ve talked quite a bit about the weekly arcade challenges I have in my office. We’ve played close to 100 classic and modern arcade games for high score supremacy. We’ve started replaying a few of our favorites, but the one game I know we won’t even attempt again is Frogger. For a variety of reasons it just hasn’t aged well. It isn’t fun. After playing the recent Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition and loathing it, I was convinced a game based on Frogger could never be fun. Then, Crossy Road hopped up next to me, tickled me until I peed my pants, and threw me face first into a side of a train while I begged it to do it again.
Everything about Crossy Road is fun. Winning is fun, dying is fun, picking a character is fun, using its fake currency is fun, hopping is fun, watching trailers for other games is fun, drowning is fun, and I’ve already mentioned that getting hit by a train is more than fun. What is wrong with me? What is wrong with Crossy Road? Nothing! I mean the goddamn game is free! So even when you don’t know what you are doing, you feel like you stole something and got away with it which is the very definition of fun!
I’m using exclamation points in a review. I should calm down. Onward to the general description of gameplay!
You probably guessed that Crossy Road basically has you controlling a character that is dodging lanes of traffic and other objects as you try to get to the end of the level. Psyche, there is no end of the level. This is an endless hopper, motherfrogger. Keep on hopping to bring on more, faster moving obstacles. If you want to risk it all, you can also try to pick up coins along the way.
Crossy Road’s touch controls are stellar. Tap to hop forward. Swipe left, right, or backwards to change direction. Hop backwards too many times in a row though and your character becomes bird food. Your high score equals the amount of forward hops you have made. Your high score will taunt you on screen as well as any high scores from your friend’s list. Don’t panic on that lily pad just before Uncle Rosco’s best score or you’ll never be able to look him in his lazy eye again.
The graphics are made up of some seriously, charming-ass voxels which allow the mascots to have a ton of personality. You start out as a chicken, but you earn coins based on your performance, just for having the game running, or for randomly watching advertisements. The coins can be used to unlock new mascots or you can drop $0.99 at any point to buy one of your choosing – from doge to a baseball player to even weirder characters (see the trailer below). The purchases are completely optional and easy to ignore if you just want to hop your way to the highest score ever witnessed.
Crossy Road should not have a personality. Crossy Road should not be fun. Hipster Whale doesn’t care though. It made Crossy Road, made Frogger cry, and made me pee my pants. I’d send them the bill but they already gave me an awesome free game. Hipster of the year. Hopper of the year.
Crossy Road was released on Nov 20, 2014 on iOS and is coming to Android soon.