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Frogs and Flies (2600)

Updated: Jun 12, 2022

Console: Atari 2600

Game: Frogs and Flies

Genre: Action

(Mattel, 1982)

Frogs and Flies is a wonderful example of gaming in its absolute purest form. Jump from lily pad to lily pad to catch as many flies as you can! It’s simple, it’s fun, and it’s magical! 🐸☀️✨

Frogs and Flies for the Atari 2600

Two lily pads, two frogs, neverending flies… it just doesn’t get any simpler, and having the opportunity to revisit this classic again reminds of a time when games were a new, daring medium, and although the graphics and sounds were simple and limited to the technology of the time, the creative ambition behind these early interactive experiences, leapt through the screens beyond the technological limitations to ignite our fiery imaginations. These frogs seemed real, leaping with cartoon might, and trying to out-catch a friend in 2-Player mode offered competitive hilarity, and showed us signs of how social, rewarding, and joyful video games could be.

Two special features of Frogs and Flies that should be highlighted are it’s portrayal of the passing of time throughout a day (back in 1982!), and the inclusion of an ending screen.

The game starts off in the bright early morning with a pair of lily pads in a pond (each housing a frog), with pixelated flies rummaging overhead, and a simple sky-blue background filling out the rest of the digital canvas. Impressively, the longer you play and the more flies you catch, the darker the shade of sky you receive representing the late afternoon / evening, and finally a black background to represent the night.

Once you make it through the day, and your frogs’ bellies are full, you are greeted with a ‘The End’ screen, which while nothing exciting by today’s standards, was an incredible reward to gamers back in 1982! Both of these features are commonplace now in gaming, so it’s humbling to go back and experience these amazing features in one of the earliest of forms.

Frogs and Flies remains an incredibly enjoyable and addicting experience, that shows that simplicity can remain timeless.

Have you ever played Frogs and Flies, and what is your earliest gaming memory?

*Bonus Stage: Did you know that Frogs and Flies is a port of the Intellivision game Frog Bog?


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Jordan Itkowitz
Jordan Itkowitz
May 14, 2021

have never seen this! I'm fascinated by the art dept's decision to take up 80% of the box cover with random lines and geometrics and pushing the actual game art to the bottom right corner! what a great way to grab kids' attention!!! lol

May 18, 2021
Replying to

Definitely an interesting design choice, super 80's! And Frogs and Flies is great fun, highly recommended. (The passage of time, and the end screen still impress!)

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