So sometimes I buy games because they look cute and fun (I really do like kids’ games). Sometimes I buy games because they are cheap. Sometimes I hit the jackpot and get both! That’s what happened with Hey Froggy! I found it in the clearance bin at a FLGS in Atlanta, and picked it up.
Hey Froggy! is a fun-looking little frog game from R&R Games. It comes with 12 plastic frogs in 4 different colors, 13 lilypads, 48 Froggy cards, 3 dice, some fly tokens, scoring path, and some scoring markers. The reason I am focused so much on the components is that they are the real story of this game (but we’ll get to that).
Let’s talk first about the game play:
To set up the game, you set out all of the lilypads in a circle in the middle of the table. Then you “shuffle” the frogs and place 3 random frogs on each of 4 lilypads that are next to each other. You place the Pile of Flies token on the lilypad that comes next clockwise in the circle of lilypads.
On your turn you first declare a color of frog (blue, red, green, or yellow) that you are going to move this turn. Then you roll the dice (only 1 unless you choose to spend your fly tokens to increase it to 2 or 3 dice, flipping each fly token over to show it was used). Whatever you roll is how many lilypads you are going to jump to this turn. If you chose to use your fly tokens, you get to choose between any of the dice values and move that many lilypads. But here’s the thing: these frogs love to stack and play leapfrog, so only the lilypads with frogs on them or the Pile of Flies count for movement. If the lilypads are empty, you skip them completely. If you land on a lilypad with frogs on it, you add your frog to the top of the stack. If you land on the lilypad with the Pile of Flies your frog stays there and you get all of your fly tokens back, then move the Pile of Flies token one lilypad clockwise.
So that’s how the frogs move, but here’s how you actually score points:
You always have 4 Froggy cards in your hand. Each frog card represents a different color frog and has a different number of frogs on it. At the end of your turn, after you have moved your frog, you look at your cards and compare the frogs that are on top of the stacks. If the cards match the number of frogs showing on top of stacks, you can score those cards. If you score 1 card you get 1 point, 2 cards = 2 points, 3 cards = 4 points, and 4 cards = 7 points. If you don’t score any cards this turn you can discard any number of cards and then draw back up to 4.
So, how does it play?
The game is actually pretty fun. There are usually several possibilities of actions when your turn comes around, but you can’t really plan ahead between turns, due to the amount of luck involved. You get to choose the color of the frog you move each turn, but then you roll the dice to see how many spots you move. You can spend your fly tokens to give you extra dice, which give you choices of how many spaces you will move, and if there are 2 or 3 of the same color frogs that gives you a choice too. But other than that, it’s luck, luck, and more luck. Fun, but not a complex game, and not a real thinker. Very very casual.
So, you mentioned components?
Yeah…about that. The components are not great. It really feels like they spent a lot of time on some of them, but not others. The Froggy cards are okay, maybe a little thin, and the artwork on them looks like something from clip art, which is disappointing since the flies are really cute. The lilypads are good. The little scoring tokens are fine, but they could’ve been cute little frogs instead of just wooden markers.
But the stacking frogs are the real problem.
Here’s how I felt when I first opened the box :
The frogs are the kind designed for flipping, the kind where you press on the back of the frog and it sails across the room. Kids love these. But flipping the frogs is in no way present in this game. They are meant for stacking and that is all.
I’m sure that they found a ton of these frogs for cheap and said, “Hey these stack, let’s use these.” But all I wanted to do the whole time was flip them and make them jump.
Even with all of that, it’s still a really fun game, especially with kids. This is not a game for serious gamers. Do not buy this game if you are looking for something with intense strategy, game-changing decisions, and come-from-behind dramatic endings. This is not that game.
But…if you want a light, silly game to play with your family, this will work for you. Even if the frogs are a little bit disappointed.