Sawbuck Gamer

Frog Fractions

Math Munchers

Frog Fractions is either the best or worst piece of math edu-tainment in history.

By Drew Toal • November 6, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

The paper-thin educational veneer of Frog Fractions masks a dark secret—that this innocent-looking game is not math-related at all! To start, you’re a frog on a lily pad, using your tongue to capture insects and collect fruit. This fruit can then be used to purchase upgrades, like a cybernetic frog brain, a targeting system for your tongue, or a dragon.

That’s not even the weird part. If you collect enough fruit, you can purchase a warp drive, which allows you to ride your dragon through an asteroid field to Bug-Mars, where you’ll do battle with a tentacled alien robot squid. During the battle, a guy pops up in the corner of the screen wondering if the “big guy over here has any tips for dealing with fractions.” (You also get advice from figures like a cheeseburger and the Arc De Triomphe.) Later, after testifying at bug court and signing your work visa, the dragon-borne frog is graced with a narrated “history” of boxing while swimming to the next part of the game, a straight-up text adventure.

This is where I got off the crazy train. While Frog Fractions is silly well past the point of complete nonsense, the humor is sharp, if you’re into Sealab 2021-style absurdity. Be warned, though. I can’t promise those that persevere beyond the text game will emerge with their sanity intact. What I can promise is that you will not be any better at doing fractions.

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903 Responses to “Math Munchers”

  1. caspiancomic says:

    I played this when someone brought it up in WAYPTW, and had a pretty good time. At first I couldn’t figure out how to advance, but when I realized the dragon could move up and down, not just side to side, I started to move along. I quit playing after winning the presidency of Bug-Mars in a dance contest because it appeared my sole presidential duty was to regulate the production of bug porn.

    • Cloks says:

      I’m only at the text adventure, which I had to look up a guide to get through, but I assume with full confidence that this is a thing that happens.

    • boardgameguy says:

      i also tried playing it when it came up in WAYPTW and had to stop because i knew it would consume my entire day like a frog eating fractions

    • Merve says:

      SPOILERS: The way to get past that section is to print enough money to buy yourself a pool. And that’s the end of the game. I don’t think there’s any way to make a profit off of bug porn.

      • WorldCivilizations says:

        I am to proud to have beaten the whole thing without consulting a guide. And yes, you can in fact make a profit on bug porn – but it’s totally pointless because you can just print the money, and sometimes all the bug porn burns up anyway. Anyway, this was a waste of times, besides a decent wtf factor – especially the very beginning and the presidential “campaign”.

      • nattyish says:

        If you have mastered Lemonade Stand economics, then yes, you can make a profit off of bug porn.

        And I, for one, am proud to have typed that sentence.

  2. Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

    I got to the text part and stopped. Nothing happening was funny to me. Certainly nowhere near the level of Sealab 2021. It struck me more of the “lol random” internet humor that I loathe so much.

  3. aklab says:

    I really enjoyed this game.  The worst part was trying to explain it to Mrs. Aklab. 

  4. blue vodka lemonade says:

    See, to explain Frog Fractions is to ruin Frog Fractions. You should just say, “man, this kids’ math game is weird!” and leave it at that.

    It helps if your friends are drunk when you tell them this. The drunk are much more receptive to being told they should play games made for children.

  5. Cloks says:

    Having now finished Frog Fractions, it seems more like the product of Tim and Eric than a Sealab 2021 production. Much as Tim and Eric is about the nightmarish side of public broadcasting and the freakish world of low budget television, Frog Fractions presents a fever-dream vision of educational software. It bears all the hallmarks of the genre: a vague learning concept applied to a non-cohesive “video game” portion, little regard paid to appropriate scaling of competitive elements and a nonsensical plot.
    This topic is especially dear to me, having grown up with only educational games allowed in the house for a long while. Frog Fractions recreates that while turning it upside-down, revealing all the flaws and lunacy in a rabbit that obsesses with teaching you how to read or perform math or a group of children who can find simple math on mountainsides and at the bottom of the sea.

    • nattyish says:

      If only the journey to Bug Mars had been dramatized in the form of an Oregon Trail-type trip, then thousands more people would have gotten it. But this was not what the creator wanted.

      He wanted a-historical “boxing” descriptions and bug porn. And for that I salute him.

  6. StephenM3 says:

    Frog Fractions ONLY works if you go into it not knowing what to expect.  Its only goal is to surprise you.  If you already know that this is a “wacky” game with bug porn and a text adventure, all of that stuff will be nothing but bad jokes. 

    The creator was hoping that 75% of the people playing would get bored during the very first part and leave.  That would make the REST of the game a fun shock to the 25% that happens to stumble on it. Of course, the internet doesn’t work that way.

    • Aaron Riccio says:

      And much like “The Visit,” which they covered the next day, surprise gaming has some frustrating limitations, ones that I’ve found rarely justify their existence. (Much in the same way that the glitches and endless tutorials of AC3 nearly derail the entire game. That and, you know, it not making any sense in the “modern” days.)

  7. The game can be beaten in about an hour once you get past the first big hurdle. 

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