Saturday, February 25, 2012

Game of the Day - Ribbit

An attosecond is one quintillionth of a second.  In fact it is so small, that it takes to one billion attoseconds to make one nanosecond.  So, I'm guessing it took about 3 attoseconds for you to figure out that Ribbit is the (actual and spiritual) sequel to Frogger.  And while it will never come within a mile of Frogger in arcader's hearts, taken at face value (without the love and history of Frogger) it is a very fun game on its own (I think it's better).  One other difference - Ribbit can be played by two players simultaneously for twice the amphibious fun.

There's no rocket science here, the controls work just like Frogger.  A four-way joystick to jump the direction you want (with some cute little jumping graphics).  Where the game excels is in level design and variety of play (considering all you do is jump 4 ways).

The goal in each round is to eat a certain number of bugs, crabs or other yummies.  The scoreboard on top tells you how many remain for you to eat.  Meanwhile you have to avoid many different things that can smoke you.  Sometimes, it's spiders or sea creatures, sometimes it's machinery... and sometimes it's the rolling tide of the ocean.

There are many different kinds of levels.  At the beginning you just jump around and eat stuff.  Then, they throw in the traditional floating logs that span fast moving rivers.  Later, in my favorite levels, they have the tide come in and out on a beach and you have to attack and retreat when you can, or find a floating log for safety.  Later levels also include conveyor belts in factories.  There are also occasional bonus levels where all you do is binge eat (and luckily you don't purge).

If you haven't figured it out from this blog, I love data.  So any games that give statistical feedback and bonuses score extra points in my mind.  Ribbit times how fast you finish each round and ranks and bonuses your time accordingly.  So, your goal isn't just to finish a level, but to do it quickly for more score and to break the record best time.

The main fun of Ribbit is for parties and such.  It is one of those games that non-gamers can catch onto quickly.  Gamers and non-gamers alike can play and the non-gamer doesn't have to have their eyes spin as they try to figure out the controls (or stand there being bored while you play 64 consecutive levels on Galaga).  In fact, I'm going to have a future Hall of Fame for GOTDs that are great at parties for just this reason.

Oh yeah, and when you croak (pun intended) - you hold up a sign that reads "Dead" - sweet.

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