First and foremost, Frog Fractions: Game of the Decade Edition is free on Steam and you should download it, and play it through. This is not a paid plug, but a plea for somebody to share this surreal experience with me. It’s best to go into the game blind and to remember that the movement directions are WASD. The game shouldn’t take longer than 30 minute.
To give a brief history, Frog Fractions was originally a flash game. It’s been remastered in Unity since Adobe Flash Player won’t be supported past 2021. Its sequel, Frog Fractions 2, was released through another Twinbeard Studios game, Glittermitten Grove. Both games can be found on Steam.
At quick glance, Frog Fractions: Game of the Decade Edition seemed like a cute and quirky game that taught players fractions and touch-typing. As somebody in their mid-twenties, I have little use for fractions, but I was wondering why this game was trending on Reddit with users obsessing over a cute frog eating bugs. That alone sold me. But there was clearly an inside joke, and I wanted in.
Am I playing this wrong?
I missed this phenomenon when the flash game first came out in 2012. I didn’t even realize that Frog Fractions existed before seeing it on the front page of Reddit. It was a quick 30-second download of Frog Fractions: Game of the Decade Edition on Steam. I booted the game up and played up until I upgraded my lilypad into a dragon. It’s nonsensical, but I thought that was part of the appeal.
It was 10 minutes through my first playthrough before I realized that the game wasn’t progressing. Why was it always Wave 1? Why couldn’t I collect enough fruit and zorkmids for the unreasonably priced upgrades? Sure, the game’s neat. Quirky. Funny. Haha. I ended up calling my girlfriend over and she played for a solid minute before saying “bye, I’m bored”. There was something more in the game. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
I ended up quitting my playthrough and went on a Google dive trying to understand what the joke was. There had to be more to the game than just eating bugs while riding on a dragon, collecting points listed as a fraction. Most of the reviews didn’t tell much since this was a covert inside joke. This dead end leads me to watching a playthrough of Frog Fractions on YouTube, dated back to 2013.
Quick disclaimer, I’m self-diagnosed as low-key stupid. I was unaware that the prompt saying that WASD were the directional movements, and was actually saying that I could go down. Not to the bottom of the pond/screen, but literally into the water. There was a pile of fruit that I needed for an upgrade, and once I got there, it was described as “Fruit: Like a billion”. It makes sense, but who would’ve thought to ride the dragon down underwater? Not me.
Timeless. Genre-less. OH GOD I’M SURROUNDED BY BUGS.
After having my hand held to the bottom of the pond (Thanks YouTube), the game evolved into something I couldn’t expect. The outside-the-box thinking shifted the game from cute and quirky to being a hallucinogenic. Words cannot describe the shock and joy players have navigating the world of Frog Fractions past its surface level appearance on the water. Was I hypnotized while playing the game? Did my girlfriend slip something into my drink? Sure, it was a bit of tequila in my thought-to-be virgin margarita, but that has nothing to do with the euphoria caused by Hop the Frog.
This game can’t be contained and classified into one genre. Frog Fractions is an all-you-can-eat buffet where you get some chow mein, pizza, jello, and crab legs all on one dish. The only differences are that the food is flies and that the genre cluster seems to seamlessly transition from one to another. Frog Fractions: Game of the Decade Edition presents itself as edutainment, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a game of gluttony, companionship, exploration, identity, conquest, passion, and lust.
It’s a shame that it would be irresponsible and ruin the fun for those who haven’t played it by talking about anything past getting to the bottom of the pond. If anything, I probably said more than I should have. The first playthrough of Frog Fractions is similar to listening to The Beatles for the first time. When the game is all said and done, if I had to give it a rating, it would be a 43/37.
If you finished the game and couldn’t get enough of Hop, the DLC has also been released. In it you can get a hat for your little froggy friend. While $7.99 is on the steeper side for an in-game cosmetic, it adds plenty to the game if you’re into that sort of thing. Like it’s just a hat, right…?