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IThe game starts with three frogs. The player guides a frog which starts at the bottom of the screen. The lower half of the screen contains a road with motor vehicles, which in various versions include cars, trucks, buses, taxis, and/or motorcycles speeding along. The upper half of the screen consists of a river with logs, alligators, and turtles. The very top of the screen contains five "frog homes"—the goal for each frog. Each level is timed, so the player must act quickly to finish each level before the time expires.

The only control the player has is navigating the direction for the frog to hop with the joystick. Each push in a direction causes the frog to hop once in that direction. On the bottom half of the screen, the player must successfully guide the frog between opposing lanes of trucks, cars and other vehicles, to avoid becoming roadkill.

The middle of the screen, after the road, contains a median where the player must prepare to navigate the river.

By jumping on swiftly moving logs and the backs of turtles, the player can guide his frog safely to one of the empty lilypads. The player must avoid alligators, snakes and beavers in the river, but may catch bugs or escort a lady frog for bonuses. When all five frogs are directed home, the game progresses to the next, harder level.

Frogger is available as a standard upright or cocktail cabinet. The controls consist solely of a 4-direction joystick used to guide the frog's jump direction. The number of simultaneous players is one, and the game has a maximum of two players