Well, playing Superfrog HD on its own when I already own the original would be a big no, so I decided to play the original. Against my expectations, I was actually able to complete it pretty fast. Anyway...
First impressions are absolutely positive. The game looks great, especially when one considers its age (just 21 years old) and despite being just the DOS port (which I imagine looks worse than the Amiga original). Complementing the nice art is also the very catchy music and you have a game that definitely knows how to present itself. Cute game, isn't it? WRONG!
As soon as I took control of the mighty amphibian, the first problem that I encountered was that the game was too fast. No, nothing wrong with the cpu cycles, but the damn ampibian is just too fast. Who the hell does he think he is anyway, Sonic the Hedgefrog? But I did get used to the speed, though given the structure of the game, I really have to question the need for such speed, as much of the game is based mostly around jumping (well, you are a frog).
Which brings us to one of the game's big problems; the jumping. It's just impossible to control the height of the jump. Even if you just tap the button lightly, the frog jumps too much, which can make it difficult to kill opponents by jumping on top of them. But the biggest issue with the jumping is combined with another big issue to make it even worse; the gaming area is too zoomed in and it can be difficult to predict the danger ahead, including my dearest friends, the spikes! It's also impossible to look up or down, thus the frequent leaps of faith lead to frequent deaths by spikes, alright. Did I mention that the spikes cause instant death, regardless of your health and that they are not necessarily limited to pits? Fun times will be had by the realization that the game's collision detection might be a bit miss as even touching the side of the spikes will instantly kill you and the game seems to revel in this by placing springs below spikes, ensuring some pretty frustrating moments. Add the frog's speed into the mix and accidental death by spikes will be the majority of your deaths.
Another problem is the lack of saving. The game, instead, provides passwords like Mega Man... or not exactly. You see, after the end of each stage, the game grades you based on how much time it took you to finish the stage, along with how many fruits and coins you collected (coins are important in this game, because a certain amount of them is needed to unlock the exit door). It then grants you tokens that you can use to gamble on a slot machine and you if you succeed in lining up 3 cans, you'll get the password. Yeah, I'm not particularly thrilled by that implementation.
With all this frustration, why did I persist then? Because, even with the aforementioned issues, I found the game fun. Sure, it was hard and unfair, but it was still fun exploring all the nice-looking worlds of the game, doing huge jumps around the various stages and feeling smugly satisfied when I dodged one of the damned spike pits. My final verdict is frustrating, but fun. Full List