‘Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge’ is a Cute Story About Our Amphibian Friends- Review

We had the opportunity to dive into Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge before release to see what a sim game about frogs is all about.

While I spend most of my gaming time in RPGs or spooky games, I will almost always make time for a sim game. Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge caught my attention because it’s about one of my favorite animals: frogs! A sim game where the player has to create a haven for frogs to thrive and grow? Sounds like the perfect recipe for a game to me!

For this review, I checked out the game on the Nintendo Switch.

Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge is unquestionably a beautiful game with a simple premise: you, the player, return to your childhood home to help an old friend revitalize the area and create a safe haven for the local frog population. Along the way you learn how to properly feed the frogs, make a proper habitat for them, and even learn how to breed them to create new frog species.

Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge

Developer: Humble Reeds

Platform: Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Xbox Series X and Series S, macOS, Mac operating systems

Release Date: June 8, 2024

There is definitely an addictive quality to this game as the player is encouraged to catalog all possible frog species and the challenge becomes finding ways to attract those different varieties to the haven. From that standpoint, the game excels because it’s fun to see what frog types you can find.

Kamaeru’s gameplay loop is simple, but satisfying. Once the frog haven is established, the player primarily spends time gathering insect food to feed and tame new frogs. At the same time, the player also raises money by harvesting plants grown in the revitalized wetlands to create products to be sold at the shop to make it possible to find more insects, repeat as necessary.

As stated before, it’s a simple gameplay loop but then again Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge is a simple game. There are objectives periodically given but no rush to fulfill them. This is, in every sense of the word, a game designed to be as relaxing as possible. The player is free to design the frog haven however they wish and it takes very little time to be able to afford whichever decorative items you like from the store.

If the game has one flaw on the Switch, it’s that accessing the different tools is a little clunky, at least at first. For instance, there’s an objective that at one point requires the player to take pictures of some frogs. Well, in the time it takes to access the camera, the frog might disappear before a picture can be snapped. This is a little frustrating, and I feel like this mechanic could be possibly improved in a later update.

Happily, the rest of the game mechanics operate smoothly enough. Everything can be accessed via a few presses of a button and it’s very easy to flip back and forth between the frog haven and the wetlands at any given time.

Visually, the game is adorable to look at. The frogs look like they came out of a watercolor painting and they’re unquestionably cute with the little smiles on their faces. It’s very satisfying once multiple furniture options are placed and you randomly look up and see two or three frogs just happily chilling. This game is seriously good for one’s serotonin level just with the cuteness factor alone.

Another great feature about Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge is the educational aspect of it. Part of the game involves rebuilding a wetlands environment which requires the right balance of plants and water. The game thoughtfully includes a table to show how effective the wetlands are at helping the environment. It may sound corny, but I like games that include little details like that.

A game like Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge is a perfect change of pace from the standard action/adventure game that pushes the player to relentlessly fulfill objectives or face the consequences. This is a relaxing sim game that lets us all indulge our inner child and spend some time playing with the frogs, because who can say no to that?

Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge is Adorably Cute
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Becky O'Brien
Armed with a PhD. in Musicology, Becky loves to spend their time watching movies and playing video games, and listening to the soundtracks of both whenever they have the time. Can usually be seen writing for Cinelinx though they also do a bit of work for Screen Age Wasteland too. Their favorite superheroes are Batwoman and Spider-Gwen.
kamaeru-a-frog-refuge-is-a-cute-story-about-our-amphibian-friends-reviewAdorably cute in every way, Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge is the perfect game for relaxing and indulging your inner child as you play with frogs and restore their home in the wetlands. Gamers who need a break from the endless grind of other games will love Kamaeru.