Frogun Key Art

Frogun Review

Combining vibrant and carefully-designed visuals with a simple and punchy gameplay premise, Frogun is hard not to become quickly enamoured with — particularly if you look back fondly on the janky, polygonal graphics of the PlayStation and N64 era.

Originally launched on Kickstarter by developer Molegato — and published by Top Hat Studios — the retro-inspired action platformer feels right at home on the Nintendo Switch, eliciting a warm sense of familiarity in its 90’s callbacks while maintaining an exciting degree of freshness and originality.

Frogun Nintendo Switch Gameplay Screenshot
Hop, skip, and a gun: Frogun‘s titular grappling hook weapon forms the crux of its enjoyable platforming gameplay.

A cute Saturday morning cartoon intro sets up Frogun’s simple story: you play as Renata, the daughter of two renowned archaeologists that stray too far when exploring a particularly dangerous set of ruins. Deciding to ignore her parent’s wishes to stay put at camp and wait for their return, Renata decides to go after them herself, armed with their prized new invention, the titular Frogun.

It’s a pretty standard fare, but there are some nice notes and messages left lying around in levels along the way, providing little environmental breadcrumbs that make you want to persevere to the end and get to the bottom of why Renata’s parents went missing in the first place.

Frogun’s visual style will perhaps be the first thing to draw your attention if your heart pangs with nostalgia for the jank of the retro 3D platformer, but its presentation is more than just a low poly homage. The level of polish and care that has gone into making Frogun is impressive, and part of what ultimately gives it that level of charm that keeps you playing to the end.

From its four-slot save menu reminiscent of Super Mario 64, to the Crash Bandicootinspired level hub, to simply the ability to add screen filters in order to achieve that old-fashioned CRT scanline effect, the attention to detail oozes a level of passion from the developers that you can’t help but get onboard with.

Frogun Nintendo Switch Gameplay Screenshot
Fully loaded: Levels are jam-packed with hidden treasures that you can easily miss if you don’t pay attention.

With each level consisting of an isometric temple ruin or treasure trove that’s part Captain Toad, part Crash Bandicoot, Frogun is a platformer first and foremost, managing to feel familiar but unlike anything I’ve played before of this ilk. Between defeating enemies and timing precarious jumps between obstacles, you’ll simultaneously be shifting the camera around in the 3D space, on the lookout for clues and secrets.

Spanning multiple different zones as you venture deeper into the ancient temple ruins, areas have the cliched alternating snow and lava terrains that we’ve come to expect from the genre. Still, they’re done well, with distinctive enemies, traps, and themes that evolve as you delve into the later stages, and this gradual shift is matched well in energy by composer Adam Foley’s upbeat soundtrack.

While the main game won’t take you too long to finish — coming in at around maybe five hours — there are plenty of added extras and modes to jump into that add replay value, such as a dedicated speedrunning mode for flying through stages in a different way to set records, a brilliant photo mode for making the most of the visuals and snapping a selfie to share on social media, and even two-player duel areas that can be unlocked for playing head-to-head with friends.

With games like Toki Tori that did well in the indie platforming space on Switch for providing an addicting speedrunning element, it’s clear that the developers have their ears to the ground on exactly what their audience wants from a game like this. Those that can’t get enough of the game’s styling can opt for the ‘Deluxe Edition’ on the eShop, which includes additional trinkets such as a retro-inspired digital manual, and an artbook showing a bunch of different behind-the-scenes goodies.

Frogun Nintendo Switch Gameplay Screenshot
Leapfrog: Precision platforming is often the name of the game in Frogun, with moving platforms and targets that must be hit with pinpoint accuracy.

Frogun’s isometric, precision-based platforming creates an ideal level of challenge that forces you to stay engaged the entire time. Even when you appear to have everything under control, the careful planning required for every jump and grapple keeps you on the edge of your seat, with timed obstacles such as falling platforms and lilypads forcing you to maintain a consistent pace while also looking out for secrets and hidden pathways concealed throughout.

That’s not to say that the game is too difficult, however. Your trusty, somehow sentient grappling hook friend provides hints and tips as you explore (in a hilarious gibberish reminiscent of a character from the Banjo-Kazooie series), and the optional coins and relics you can collect in each level establish a variable difficulty scale that makes the game accessible, whether you want to blast through it in a sitting or meticulously accumulate each and every trinket.

Frogun Nintendo Switch Gameplay Screenshot
Treasure trove: Coins collected in stages can be exchanged for a variety of different funky hats that Renata can wear.

Overall, while it might not the longest adventure on the eShop, Frogun is a crisp 3D platformer that harks back to many of the classics from the Playstation and Nintendo 64 era. Well-rounded and polished, with enough additional bells and whistles to make it a worthwhile investment, it’s a title that will test your platforming skills, scratch that nostalgic itch, and keep you smiling until you’ve collected every last coin.

Frogun £13.49


Frogun draws you in with all the strength of the titular tongue-hooking grapple gun, combining 90’s low-poly nostalgic presentation with a fresh, novel gameplay premise. It’s a fairly short expedition, but well worth it when you factor in extra modes and collectibles.