by Katie Monigan
While there are quite a few Apple iOS games that are somewhat constructive–for example “Scramble With Friends,” where players interact and practice spelling–there are also a number of games that are brainless. They are incredibly addicting and leave iPhone owners procrastinating late into the night instead of completing assignments.
Enter “Don’t Fry The Frog,” another game that is almost impossible to put down, but with a twist–it is controlled by using two thumbs moving across the entire screen at once. It works differently from most other iPhone games but is designed with the essential components to make it a hit.
The premise of “Frog” is to take care of a frog with an insatiable appetite as flies buzz around him waiting to be eaten. When the frog eats a fly, he gains weight. If he eats another, he becomes fatter, and if he eats a third, he explodes. The user’s thumbs wield an immense amount of electricity, which is the only means of protecting this food-addicted frog. Players must use their electric beam to zap the unhealthy flies while making sure not to zap the frog and the healthy flies that also fly by.
Though the mechanics are fun, the game’s unbeatable price-point of being free makes it a must-have app. Perhaps even more notable is the developer behind the app. Blacktorch Games is known for employing current and former students from the NYU Game Center, a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree program housed in the Tisch School of the Arts.
The company was founded collectively by NYU student and graduates Charlie Brillant, Kevin Porras, Mike Astolfi and Max Meyers, a team always eager to find new talent. “Frog” is their first real gaming project and is definitely a strong debut to the entertainment world.
“We’ve had thousands of downloads,” said Astolfi, the project’s lead game designer. “And we found out that more than 50 percent of our players play two or more times per day.”
This May, Astolfi will graduate from NYU, allowing him and the entire team to devote their full attention to their projects at Blacktorch Games. If “Don’t Fry the Frog” is any indication, the company has a long future of distracting students from their schoolwork ahead of them.
Katie Monigan is a contributing writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article was published in the April 2nd edition of the Washington Square News.