Frogger and Bosconian

Frogger (1981)

Frogger, developed by Konami, is regarded as one of the hits of the golden age of video games. Highly regarded for its novel gameplay, the player would direct five frogs to their homes whilst avoiding obstacles such as traffic, other animals and a river.

Through moving the joystick, the player moved each frog left, right, up and down. The frog started at the bottom of the screen, and was navigated to one of the 5 houses at the top of the screen. The first hindrance the player would have faced was a road filled with moving traffic; with vehicles from cars to bulldozers threatening to run over the frog. If the player proceeds the road, they were then faced with the river where the frog could have used logs as well as the back of alligators and turtles to travel across. If the player jumps into the mouth of any of these creatures then they were eaten!

The aim of Frogger was to get the frog to its house at the top of the screen (which is the next area the frog would enter thereby ending the game). Every level was timed, and the player had to get the frog to its house within one minute. Though, if the player took excessive amounts of time with each frog, the game attempted to speed the player up through increasing the speed of vehicles and river. Overall, adding a level of difficulty to the gameplay.

Points could be gained during the game in various ways. For every safe step taken by the player 10 points were achieved. If the frog arrives home, 50 points were awarded plus an extra 10 points per unused second. Other bonus points could be gained if the player escorted a lady frog home or eats a fly, both of these would have given the player an additional 200 points. Finally, 1,000 points were granted when all five frogs returned home, marking the end of the level. Moreover, player could earn extra lives at 10,000 and 20,000 points. Though the game was known to roll the score to zero after the player has gained 100,000 points.

In 1982, Frogger was titled the game with the most ways to die. Some of which include: being hit by a car, jumping into a river, jumping into a home invaded by an alligator, riding a log off the end of the screen, jumping into a home occupied by another frog and running out of time.

Bosconian (1981)

Namco’s Bosconian is known as the first game to feature a ‘continue’ screen. In the ‘scrolling shooter’ genre, the player would fly across open space.  A radar was given on screen to track the player’s position, as well as the location of attack formations and space stations. The game won the arcade award for best Science Fiction/ Fantasy coin-op of 1982.

The aim of Bosconian was to score as many points through destroying waves of enemy missiles and bases. The player controlled a small fighter ship which fired both in-front and behind. To advance to the next round, the player had to destroy all of the enemy bases, which consisted of six cannons arranged in a hexagon form enclosing a core in the centre. To defeat this base, the player had to destroy all of the cannons and shoot the core. In later levels of the game, the central core would advance and was able to defend itself. Additionally, a bonus spy ship occasionally appeared, wherein, if the player could not defeat it, the round would automatically go to ‘condition red’. There was no definite end to Bosconian. Although, after round 255 the game will go to ‘Round 0’ where a new game would subsequently begin.