Having already made its mark on the App Store with games like Scoops, Sky Burger, and Dizzypad, US studio NimbleBit has just announced its most ambitious game to-date.
Pocket Frogs is a freemium game for iPhone and iPad that mixes up elements of Pokemon, We Rule, and Animal Crossing, that will have you discovering, collecting, trading, and breeding over 10,000 unique frogs.
We caught up with NimbleBit co-founder Ian Marsh to find out more.
Pocket Gamer: What was the inspiration for Pocket Frogs?
Ian Marsh: Our previous game Dizzypad was obviously a big inspiration. We found that one of the biggest draws for people was unlocking new and different looking frogs, even if there wasn't much to do with them.
So after experiencing these frogaholics first hand, we began thinking of how we could build a game around thousands of unique frogs.
Why do you think frogs are a good subject for a freemium game?
We think frogs are perfect for a freemium game because, just like fish, puppies, and kittens, they have wide appeal.
Boys and girls of all ages find the tiny amphibians attractive. While there are many other fish and pet sim games, there are no good frog sims as far as we know.
What are the feature that you think will make it a success?
Pocket Frogs is a game that is easy to get into, but really hard to get burnt out on. If you're waiting for an egg to hatch, you can breed other frogs, or take another frog exploring in the pond to try and find some gifts or discover a new frog.
Alternatively, if you're busy with something else, you can tell the game to alert you when your frog has hatched, or when an item arrives in the mail.
Community is a massive part of such games, so what's the social hook for Pocket Frogs?
Pocket Frogs is tons of fun whether you play with friends, or all by yourself, but playing with friends certainly has its advantages.
If you are stuck looking for a specific frog, colour, or pattern that one of your friends happens to have they can gift it to you.
You can also gift scenery items to friends when you find something you know they will like, as well as checking in on your friends' habitats to see what new frogs they've recently created and how their habitats are coming along.
Will you be using Game Center and what's your view of it?
Game Center is another valuable tool for any iOS game developer. I think that especially when using an existing social network like Plus+, the best uses will be when the game is developed with Game Center in mind.
Plus+ is vital to Pocket Frogs and other social games, though, because it provides cloud storage and a way for players to communicate asynchronously. We will certainly keep Game Center in mind though and utilise it where it makes sense in the future.
How does the business model work for Pocket Frogs?
Pocket Frogs is free to play with optional in-app purchases that speed up gameplay. All of the content in the game can be accessed whether you use the IAP or not.
Stamps can be earned in the game (or purchased), which instantly deliver frogs and other items you order in game or find in the pond. Potions can be earned in the game (or purchased) ,which instantly mature a frog. There are also some iAds in unobtrusive parts of the game.
Thanks to Ian for his time.
Pocket Frogs is due for release on iPhone and iPad as a universal app on September 16th.
Players who download it during the first week it's available will receive an exclusive frog: Black Floris Tribus.
You can read more about how it plays here.