Review: Kamaeru: A frog in hiding

I’m really disappointed Kamaeru: Frog’s hideout. I expected one Neko Atsume or Usagi Shiima the kind of game that has a little more meat to it. While there are mini-games and more objectives, the lack of interesting frogs and furniture to collect as well as the repetition attached to completing objectives makes the game feel a lot weaker. much.

A lot of simulation games have the protagonist escape the drudgery of corporate life for a slower-paced, gentler, rural paradise. This is true for Kamaeru: Frog’s hideout as well, with the player returning to work with a childhood friend named Axel on a project to restore wetlands and a frog sanctuary. This involves making money through creating products from the wetlands you revive, investing that money in frog furniture, more ponds and plants in the wetlands as well as breed frogs to prove the project has value and attract more people to help in different ways.

This concept is sound! The implementation is not. The frogs came and went quickly, but not so much that particular frogs seemed to like particular pieces. Rather, all you need is to have something that a frog will like, and then they will set up shop there. What makes this worse is that it doesn’t look like it Neko Atsume or Usagi Shiima, where you know unique cats or rabbits with specific looks and requirements may appear. You are waiting for the silver green frog with the yin and yang Doblex design. Or a yellow and pink leopard-print frog. Or a silver and blue Victulus whose legs are a different color than its body. It’s even less interesting when you get a Victulus kiwi style frog, because then it’s green on green. By the way, it looks exactly like a Doblex kiwi variant.

I understand that part of this is to encourage an element of breeding Kamaeru: Frog’s hideout, but that was also handled very poorly! Instead of using random genetics from two frogs you’ve tamed by feeding them the exact bugs they want in the order they requested, you play Tic-Tac-Toe with an NPC. In my experience, that means I’m lucky if I have a guaranteed trait that I hope to pass on to the last frog. So if you were expecting a pink-silver Doblex and not a rose-pink or silver-pink Doblex, good luck!

Breeding and furnishing as well as feeding frogs to tame them tie into the wetland restoration element of the game. Unfortunately, this becomes tedious and involved Cookie clicker style element. Once you invest in purchasing certain types of ponds and plants, you will place them. Then you need to click on each point one at a time to catch bugs for the frog to eat. Clicking another button will collect resources that you will use to produce things like food and paper goods to sell for cash, which you can then invest in more wetlands, furniture for frogs and livestock.

The minigames associated with product production also become quite a boring job. All food products? Those use the same mini-game that involves turning on the stove, aligning the mirror so the light is pointing down, and pressing A when the motion indicator light is in the middle. Paper goods? Again, sort, push the button and it never changes for any product. At the very least, the quality of life feature here means you can craft multiple items playing the mini-game at once, so you won’t be repeating the same process endlessly.

Kamaeru: Frog’s hideout is a disappointment because collecting frogs, making money, or building a frog sanctuary doesn’t feel engaging or rewarding. I get more out of games like Usagi Shiima, although it has no quests and less “gameplay”. The point is, it’s easy to see how it could be better. More unique frogs, removing boring mini-games, and making specific pieces of furniture more important could all solve the problem. That’s right, it feels like a boring job instead of a relaxing game about cute frogs.

Kamaeru: Frog’s hideout is coming to Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X and PC on June 8, 2024.


Kamaeru: Frog’s hideout

Nurture a frog sanctuary and restore wetland biodiversity in Kamaeru, a cozy farming simulation where you raise frogs by playing mini-games and decorating your habitat. Jump right to it! Converted version is considered. Evaluation copy provided by the company for testing purposes.

Kamaeru: Frog Refuge is a disappointment because collecting frogs, making money, or building a frog sanctuary doesn’t feel engaging or rewarding.

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