Hidden among the Leftfield Collection at this year’s EGX was a funny little game about Swindon, UK, and its resident superhero: The Amazing Frog?
I’m not normally one to dabble with physics-sandbox games, nor the ‘simulator’ parody games, but Fayju’s The Amazing Frog? drew me, as it did many others, to its booth with its silly main character transposed onto a grey-cement, UK skyline.
Built as a childlike reimagining of Rockstar’s GTA series, The Amazing Frog? celebrates the manic, accidental fun moments that happen in the multiplayer of the regularly record-selling series. It results in a game that is perfectly built for the idiotic stacking of cars, the starting of little adventures… and the ruining of little adventures, which populates a lot of people’s experiences of the game. It is also jammed full of jump pads and other interactive objects which can send you (and your vehicles) flying off in all directions.
The Amazing Frog? succeeds in being a fun-to-explore sandbox experience. While I was standing watching — and later playing — the game, I got to see people chased down by sharks, vehicles flung into the air and people making hilariously clumsy jumps from rooftop to rooftop. As a four-player co-operative experience, which it is (but I didn’t get to play), it already looks good enough for a ridiculous level of fun.
Fayju’s imagining of Swindon — for the unaware, it’s one of those cities people tend to look down on as boring even if they know nothing of the town — is interesting enough. (Editor’s note: I went there once and it looked terrible, but to be fair, I was only in the service station. (It was a terrible service station)) Cannons and trampolines fill the streets, there is a gym for wrestling, sewers for exploring and islands littering the twenty-kilometre map. It’s an impressive sandbox… even if it isn’t a life-scaled model of the town of the same name.
The Amazing Frog? is currently in Steam Early Access, with a planned release for PC, Mac and Linux in 2019.