Minecraft frogs can perform a variety of actions in-game. They can “croak, jump, swim, and walk on land” according to the changelog. The frogs can also reproduce. The resulting Minecraft tadpoles can swim around and later become frogs. The type of frog a tadpole will grow into is determined by biome. The frogs also come in three biome-based types: temperate, cold, and warm, which are orange, green and grey respectively. However, frogs only come into existence on their own in swamps. To make other frogs, the player must place tadpoles in a different environment.
Minecraft frogs can also produce special in-game items. By eating Slimes, frogs can produce Slime Balls. By eating Magma Cubes, frogs can produce Froglights, small glowing blocks. These come in different colours based on which type of frog is eating the Magma Cube. This feature is significantly less realistic, as real frogs can not eat magma and eat a diet of insects, small invertebrates and even some small vertebrates. Large frogs have been known to eat hamsters and smaller frogs.
Nevertheless, the care that Minecraft has taken in their frog design is unusual. These frogs can produce several realistic noises and inflate their vocal sacs. According to a Minecraft Live session cited on the Minecraft Wiki, the “warm” frog was inspired by the real-world grey foam-nest tree frog. This attention to biological detail is high for a fantasy game.
The history of frogs in video games is extensive, making them an unsurprising choice for a new animal in Minecraft. The classic arcade game Frogger involves helping a frog cross a road while avoiding cars. The 1978 game Frogs also involves controlling a frog that hops on lily pads. More modern frog games include Frog Fractions, Animal Crossing and Tabikaeru. Perhaps there is something appealing about hopping around as a gameplay mechanic, or maybe frogs are just easy to render with their recognizable shape.
An endless stream of frog memes makes 2022 an ideal time to add frogs to Minecraft in terms of marketing. A subset of the meme-making population believes that frogs are visually appealing animals due to their large eyes and unique personalities. As a result, they receive a great deal of attention on websites and social media platforms such as Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram.
The massive fanbase for frogs has led to a great deal of excitement around this development. Beyond their aesthetic purposes, I believe Minecraft frogs have the opportunity to significantly enhance gameplay via the new mechanics and challenges they provide. They are, for many fans, a breath-taking new addition to modern gaming that today’s youth will tell their grandchildren about in the years to come. Newcastle student Hannah Ross summarises the situation briefly: “The frog uprising has begun. You can’t stop it now”.