Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pocket Frogs

It would be downright irresponsible of me to talk about the iPad without talking about the one app that uses half its battery life right now:

Pocket Frogs.

To my surprise, my husband, who rolls his eyes at the mere fact that I own an iPad, is possibly more addicted to the game than I am. Above is an actual screenshot of our nursery, where I am letting some serpentis babies grow up to sell for a tidy profit.

It's just a simple collecting-and-breeding game. I've never played a pokemon game, but I assume it's kinda like that but without battles (especially given that the name is clearly a reference to pokemon's pocket monsters). You could just breed what you like, or there is a list of over 200 awards to serve as your goals to guide your play. Being the anal sorts that we are, my husband and I are going for these goals.

(Psst- by the way, this game is FREE!)

My frogs:

One annoyance, which you might have noticed in these screenshots, is that the game only runs in portrait mode. It does not rotate when you rotate your iPad. WTF?

The main minigame involves jumping around a pond to catch flies, find new frogs to breed into your collection, and find presents. This game seems a lot easier until you a) try to grow a baby frog, whose tiny size makes it harder to catch anything, into a adult via fly-eating and b) realize that only the largest (and fastest) flies are worth XP. At first it's nice that you can speed up a frog's maturation by catching flies, but now I'm at the point where one fly per minute (approx, other than large flies) + a frog that takes 10+ hours to mature + the difficulty of fly-catching with a tiny baby frog leads to an annoyingly long time tapping lily pads in that pond. So more and more I'm just letting the babies sit there and grow on their own - which, with limited habitat space, slows things down a lot. But that's probably a good thing, because it also means I can't sit there and play with the frogs for hours on end!

Now, endless fly-catching isn't the only way to speed things up. There are potions to grow your frogs and stamps to make items in the mail arrive faster. Potions are much more useful than stamps, IMO, and accordingly are harder to come by. Of course, if you're the type to spend real money in-game, you can buy packs of potions or stamps (as well as other useful goodies) in the in-app store. Clearly NimbleBit is taking the Zynga route to game profitability - get people addicted to the free games, sell them bits and baubles to make the drug stronger. :)

There are also racing and puzzle minigames, but I haven't been too interested in these so far. The main attraction really is setting and meeting those breeding goals, along with finding the occasional particularly pretty frog to keep in your collection just for fun rather than for strategic purposes.

If you like collecting sorts of games, and like FREE apps, this is a must-have.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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