Game: Time on Frog Island
Genre: Adventure, Platform, Puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, (Windows) PlayStation & Xbox)
Developers | Publishers: Half Past Yellow | Merge Games
Age Rating: US E | EU 3+
Price: US $24.99 | UK £19.99 | EU 24,99
Release Date: July 12th, 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to Merge Games.
Time on Frog Island is a sandbox exploration game released on Nintendo Switch and other formats. In 2021, I played a demo of Trading Time A Croak Tale, a short prologue to Time on Frog Island.
Shipwrecked on a Strange Island
The game begins with a sailor all kitted out in his sailor’s hat and pipe wakening up on shore. He has been shipwrecked on a strange island after a terrible storm, and as if that wasn’t bad enough to top it all off, he has lost his precious plant pot.
Our protagonist soon discovers his ship is in ruins, and he is stranded on the island. To make matters more interesting, the only inhabitants on the island are anthropomorphic frogs. To fix his boat, he must find various objects such as a new wheel, a sail and some planks of wood, to name a few. So begins a series of trades or fetch quests for the frog inhabitants, mixed with some puzzle-solving.
On your adventures as a sailor, you’ll also find hidden treasure. As well as brew a limited amount of potions that give permanent abilities such as jump, croak and tongue, where the sailor will shoot out his tongue.
Pick a Leaf to Float
Time on Frog Island is void of written words or voice acting. Instead, everything in the game, including the story, is told to the player through images. All the inhabitants on the island are quirky frogs, and each frog you come across will want to trade an item with the sailor. You’ll be shown an image in a speech bubble while talking to a frog, and it’s up to you to track down the item and return it to the frog or trade it with another frog.
Running around the island is great fun as you never know what you will find to help you traverse the island quicker. From a flower head that, once picked up, acts as a helicopter of sorts and makes the sailor run faster to picking up a leaf for the sailor to float down from a high position to the ground. I enjoyed picking up parts of the environment and discovering what I could use to move about quicker or leap further.
Lots of Trading
All the trades are chained together, you’ll want a wheel from the merchant for your boat, but the merchant requires a lantern before he will part with the wheel. Getting the lantern involves completing a quest for the Hermit and so on.
A Map would be Helpful
I enjoyed how the trades are linked with the end purpose of mending the sailors’ wrecked boat. However, I wasn’t so keen on the lack of a map in the game. I spent far too long running around aimlessly looking for a particular frog to complete their trade.
An in-game map would help; otherwise, you will get lost sometimes, which can be frustrating. Another thing I felt was missing from the game was some way to track who had asked for what item. Unfortunately, there isn’t a list or anything, so you have to rely on memory to remember which frog and which item are asked for.
Visuals and Controls
The cast of froggy characters are all unique in their appearance, and there are touches of humour in the game. The music is lovely, and the sound effects, right down to the sailor’s footsteps, which change depending on the surface he is walking on, are all top-notch. The game is controlled by the joy-con and works as expected.
It took a while for Time on Frog Island to grow on me; that probably wasn’t helped by the many times I got lost when my usually good sense of direction let me down. However, I loved how the sailor is animated, the story is good, and there is no pressure in the game. I do think that if you are not a fan of fetch-type quests, the game might not be for you. But if you want a chilled game with some quirky-looking frogs, and an island to explore, give it a try.
Final Verdict: I Like It A Lot