If you have ever player arcade games from the 1980s, you will be familiar with one called Frogger. In it you guided a frog across roads filled with traffic and across rivers by hopping from log to log. Crossy Road, which is free from the Windows Store on Windows 8 PCs and the Surface, is clearly based on the classic, but it runs on modern hardware and is just as much fun today as it was back then.
The graphics are big and blocky, which gives it an unusual, but strangely attractive look. There isn’t a frog, well not one that I have found so far, but there are several different characters to control. Using the arrow keys, it is your job to move the character safely across roads, some single lane, but others multi-lane with traffic speeding by in both directions. There are both cars and lorries to avoid and sometimes you have to step into the road and run with the traffic a little way to find a gap to get through.
There are train tracks to be negotiated and express trains whiz past at high speed. There is a river and logs float past in both directions. You must hop from one log to the other to get to the other side and it’s game over if you fall into the water. Step in front of a car or truck and you die. Run into the side of a truck and you die. Step onto the railway tracks just as a train flies by and you die. Yes, there is a lot of dying in this game, but it’s fun.
There are few places to rest and the action is fast and makes you sweat as you desperately try to figure out the best move or wait for a break in the traffic without getting killed. Even in a relatively safe spot, you cannot stand for long and if you do not move something flies down the screen (a plane?) and kills you.
The cursor keys move you around in short hops. Planning and counting the hops from one safe area to another is the key to success. A road that is two lanes wide takes three hops to get to the other side, so you hop, hop, hop. Forget to count and you might hop too far and end up under the wheels of a vehicle.
You can earn coins in the game and these enable you to play a machine that awards prizes. When the prize is opened there is a new character to play with. Apparently there are over 90. You can even play as a Scotsman complete with kilt and bagpipes, which he plays as you cross the road. Characters can be purchased too.
Unlike Frogger, there does not appear to be an end to the roads, rail tracks and rivers that you have to cross. The aim seems to be to get as far as you can, which to begin with, will not be very far at all. As you practice though, you will get better.
Title: Crossy Road
Developer: Yodo1 Ltd.
Size: 15.3 MB