Friedemann Friese and 2F games are known for extraordinary ideas. The latest title that is likely to freak out solo gamers in particular is Freaky Frogs from Outerspace. Behind the bulky title is a compact card game that has the feel of a brings pinballs to the table. You can find out in this review whether the game increases the fun multiplier.
The “modern” pinball machine was created in 1947 and is based on games of skill that originated in the 18th century. The success story of slot machines lasted until the 1980s, when video games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders increasingly took their place in arcades. After a renewed boom in the early 90s, the popularity of pinball machines fell sharply. Nowadays they are experiencing a bit of a revival thanks to fans and collectors.
Now the former permanent guest in arcades is getting a board game adaptation. There is certainly no better author for this than Friedemann Friese. He has a large number of game ideas that go off the beaten track. Like the machine that inspired it, the board game implementation plays solo. The different pinball elements are implemented using a total of 63 cards.
Get the ball rolling
If you know your way around a real pinball machine, you will know the rules Freaky Frogs from Outerspace quickly internalized. Almost everything is modeled after the original.
The ball either rolls up or is on its way down to the flippers. If you lose three balls, the points scored are added together. With a little skill and a lot of luck, you can crack the high score and reach six-figure heights.
The ball is controlled by the cards you hold in your hand. Each card played determines how many cards you can draw. Depending on which direction the ball rolls and which element it comes from, different elements are possible next.
For example, the bumpers allow the ball to bounce in any direction. All other elements are significantly more restrictive in terms of the next goal. For example, after a ramp, only the pinball machine that brought the ball onto the ramp is allowed.
FROGS and RAY/GUN for the high score
The multiplier is essential for the high score. Without him you won't set a new points record. If you hit all letters in a RAY or GUN set, you increase the multiplier by one. It becomes particularly lucrative if you “clear” the sets three times with a decoy card. This is how you unlock multiball. Many points come together here in a chaotic manner in a very short space of time. If you push the multiplier all the way up, you also get an extra ball.
Bumpers score when completing a RAY/GUN set and at the end of a round. Frogs score points when you have hit all the letters of the word. In addition to your points, you also get the save tile from the ramps, which can save you from the outlane. If you have both outlane cards in your hand, you have to discard them and lose the ball if you don't have the save tile or shake the table at the expense of two pinball cards.
The lottery cards are also negative. Like the outlane cards, you cannot voluntarily discard them and as soon as you have three, the ball is in danger of being lost. You can only save them with a double flipper or trick shot (one card each from the right and left flipper).
If you lose the last ball, you add up all the points and compare them with previous results. In addition to the included block you have here also the option to note the points online.
Information about Freaky Frogs from Outerspace
|Number of people: 1 person|
Age: from 12 years
Playing time: 25 minutes
Difficulty: expert game
Long-term motivation: moderate
Classification: Hand Management, Pinball Simulation
Game idea: Friedemann Friese
Illustrations: Lars-Arne “Maura” Kalusky
Publisher: 2F Games
Official Website: Link
Year of publication: 2023
Cost: 16 Euro
The game fulfills the requirement of implementing a pinball machine as a board game very well. Anyone who is familiar with the principles of a pinball machine only needs to read the instructions once and can start playing straight away, except for a few rules.
Compared to the real gaming device, the luck factor is in Freaky Frogs from Outerspace but much more present because the skill component is eliminated. There is a lack of options to compensate for bad luck when drawing cards. A game can be over in just ten minutes if you simply receive the cards in the wrong order. But luck isn't everything in the game either. There are always relevant decisions about where you want to shoot the ball next.
If you have the necessary luck with the cards and gradually hit the right elements, increase the multiplier, secure an extra ball and score with the chaotic multiball, not only does your score grow, but the playing time also increases. Unfortunately, at some point it gets to the point where the “simple” drawing/playing of cards becomes very monotonous. The “important” decisions simply come too rarely. In the long term, the game noticeably loses its appeal. The game is ideal for occasional games, especially when you don't want to put much strain on your gray cells.
Visually, you get exactly the dose of green that you would expect from a 2F game. The design, like the mechanics, hits the mark. The cards feel good, but don't seem to be stable enough to withstand the many shuffles without damage in the long term. Slight signs of wear were already visible after our test games.
Freaky Frogs from Outerspace actually meets expectations completely. It's Pinball - The Board Game. The high luck factor is definitely a matter of taste. If you look for something easy and become friends with it, you will find a great beat-your-own-score solo game thanks to the theme, which for me is very high up in this category.
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