We’ve all played Frogger at one point or another. Helping that courageous frog cross the street time after time holds a special place in every gamer’s heart. Banzai Rabbit, originally known as Frogman, is the 3D evolution of the Frogger formula with some added bonuses, and it does it all in top style.
As the story goes, two scientists working on a high-tech machine are fused with a rabbit and flea after a freak accident. As Banzai Rabbit, you must stop ‘The Flea’ from proceeding with his evil plan to turn every human into an insect, by braving the streets to save infected citizens standing on sidewalks. You’ve only got so much time to save each one, so the pressure is on.
This story is presented in a comic book format at the beginning of the game, but then takes a backseat as you hop through 142 levels set in the city, train yard, and factory. This isn’t a problem when you factor in the great level design. You must figure out how to maneuver around different types of cars, avoid incoming trains, and learn the patterns of emerging and submerging submarines to reach citizens in need. Bonus levels have you collecting as many stars as you can before time runs out or you get hit.
Better flee the Flea.
Scattered around the level are mutagen orbs, which allow an extra continue once you collect 10. There are also two kinds of power-ups: time-slowing and super jump, which propels you into the air and allows you to hop over obstacles.
If the heat is too much for you or your Frogger skills aren’t up to snuff, there is an easy mode available. Here the traffic is slower, you are given more lives, and fewer mutagen orbs are needed per continue. On top of this, there are extra checkpoints and more time per level. We appreciated this mode, especially since things can get tricky later in the game.
Banzai Rabbit does just enough to give the Frogger folks a unique experience that will keep them playing for hours at a time. With three great control options, colorful graphics, and one lovable rabbit, we give Banzai Rabbit our highest honors.