I’ve figured out the formula to iOS games. Pick an adjective and then pick an animal. The adjective will automatically make the animal sound funny, mainly because you never think of describing most animals with any adjectives at all. They’re just animals. I’m going to invent Rebellious Llamas, but until then, find out what the latest adjective animal is inside.

Atomic Frogs is very obviously in the vein of an Angry Birds physics based puzzle game. It’s got the animal, it’s got the elastic launch (this time using their stretchy tongues instead of a slingshot), and a wacky story that explains it all. These frogs became radioactive from bathing in factory waste, but then robots came long and turned off their water. The frogs now have to leap through each level turning the water back on. Instead of pigs, it’s robots, instead of houses, it’s factories, etc.

The unique abilities of the atomic frogs and the challenges of each level give Atomic Frogs potential. It hasn’t quite achieved it in the 36 levels available at launch, but maybe with more updates it’ll be great. Atomic Frogs is late to the party so it doesn’t quite have originality going for it, so it’s going to have to step up. But I can’t deny it’s fun launching exploding frogs into robots and figuring out brain teasers.

Each frog explodes when you tap the screen, or after a few seconds if you wait. Each color frog has different abilities. Orange frogs can blast through wood, blue frogs blast through stone, green frogs melt metal and red frogs inflate and float up in the air. You can imagine how you need to use the exact right frog in the exact right order to blast through a level. It’s not as simple as just shooting a frog at a robot. You have to time a floating frog balloon, push the levers and explode a blue frog to knock boulders down the tunnel to the water switch. If this makes perfect sense to you, you’ve been playing way too many iOS games.

Like the other physics puzzles, you can get one to three stars for passing each level. You will be compelled to nail some levels with a perfect score, and others are annoying enough that you’ll be happy to be done with it even if you only get one star. The more timing is involved in a level, the more frustrating it will be to figure out which colored frogs to use in which order and plan the elaborate Rube Goldberg solution out accordingly.

The graphics are good, with colorful animation although the backgrounds never change, even though there are three different worlds with 12 levels each. It’s always a blueish background and black ramps. Look at the pictures. You can’t even tell how far along I am in the game, but they’re from different levels. Sound is a strong addition too, mixing ribbits and frog slurping with robotic and industrial sound effects.

I didn't dislike Atomic Frogs. Maybe it’s just unfortunate timing, that I’m itching to get to Angry Birds Star Wars, so I’m not as enthusiastic about a brand new puzzle with brand new rules. I think I’m pretty objective though and if I can play through 36 levels in one night, I guess that’s enough entertainment for two bucks. Maybe with updates it’ll get better.


App Store Link: Atomic Frogs for iPhone & iPad | By Cocos | Price: $1.99 | Version: 1.0.3 | 14.1 MB | Rating 4+5.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating