This manual page describes how the dynamics of the game play system work, and it focuses less on the options and features of the game control menus (see the Hungry Frog German Teacher menu and the German Student menu pages for more detailed review of the main German Teacher menu options and the German student menu choices). Let's recap from the Hungry Frog German language software program overview page. You move upwards in game levels of difficulty by successfully guiding your frogs to eat bugs, and you can only move up to the next level if at the end of the current level you have sufficient tadpoles to allow you to progress up in level which is determined in the Hungry Frog German Lesson Score Tally between game levels. You start each new game level with a big dollop of tadpoles which is partly derived from your time bonus (you always begin every game level with such a bonus) and over time becomes more and more dependent upon your ability to correctly eat bugs - particularly if the time bonus is gone completely. When the time bonus is gone completely, the only thing keeping your tadpoles alive is your ability to correctly eat bugs according to the German dictionary English definitions. Specifically, you need to keep matching your German dictionary German words on your frogs with the German words' English definitions on the bugs when you play the Hungry Frog German language software program.
The more English definition bugs correct you get in sequence as a match to their German word meanings in the German dictionary, the wider all of your frogs have their tongues grow. This means that you get more points from every correct English definition bug you eat. So how do you get even MORE score points and get a better shot at the high score? The answer to high scores is here. Tongue Bonus bugs!
Tongue Bonus Bugs are great things, but it is important to understand how they work to get the most out of them. You can devise your own strategies and see which give you the most points overall at the end of a game. Here is how they operate, and here are some suggested strategies to try out.
When do they appear? All Bonus Bugs appear randomly at any time just like any other kind of bonus bug - and they don't stick around for long so you have to act fast to grab them before they vanish completely.
What do they do for me? Whenever a frog eats this type of bonus bug, and any frog can eat any bonus bug at any time when they appear on screen, that frog's tongue gets increased by the Tongue Bonus Bug's bonus amount. If the same frog eats a lot of Tongue Bonus Bugs, then it can get a huge tongue bonus and a huge tongue as a result. This is tongue width gained IN ADDITION TO any increase in tongue width that you may have accumulate for all your frogs by eating many different bugs correctly in sequence (this increase is called your 'accuracy bonus' and is counted to improve your score at the Hungry Frog German Lesson Score Tally between game levels). The wider your frog tongue width, the more score points you get for every correct English definition bug which your frog matches to its German dictionary German word English definition list. Therefore, the more Tongue Bonus you can accumulate the better for your game score, and the faster your score will increase. Each frog has its own separate tongue bonus, so you have to decide when you see a tongue bonus bug if you just want to eat it as quickly as you can with your current hungry frog, or if you want to have a particular frog eat it to increase that frog's tongue bonus specially.
When do I lose my tongue bonus? Once you have a good fat, wide tongue, you don't want to lose it. You lose the ENTIRE Tongue Bonus for any frog if that frog makes a wrong attempt to eat a bug (if your frog fails to match the English definition bug to its German dictionary German word English definition list). If that happens, not only does that frog lose his entire Tongue Bonus, but EVERY OTHER FROG at that level also loses part of their Tongue Bonus. In other words, once you have a nice big fat tongued frog or two, you want to be extra careful about what you eat, or you will lose the bonus. This isn't the end of the world however, as you also have all your frog tongues start again at the narrowest width at the start of each new level. This does make the Tongue Bonus bugs really really important at very high levels where you can get a huge score if you can get some early Tongue Bonus bugs eaten and then keep them for the entire level - later levels take a lot longer to finish, so you have a lot of English definition bugs to eat.
What are some strategies? You may want to try experimenting with trying to load all your bonus up on one or two frogs, but this means that if you make one mistake with one of those frogs you can lose a lot. Try it out. You can also try to do the opposite and spread out your Tongue Bonus Bug eating across as many frogs as possible. This makes it safer if you mistakenly try to eat the wrong but with one of the frogs with a tongue bonus. You can also try to keep all your tongue bonus on one or two frogs whose bugs you know pretty well and hope a lot of those bugs show up. Try experimenting.
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Some big tongue bonus in action in German language software program:
As you play through each Hungryfrog German game level your goal throughout the level is to keep the most tadpoles alive because the number of tadpoles you have at the end of level determines if you can advance to the next level of difficulty. If you can finish a game level early when you have a whole bunch of Time Bonus left, that helps give you a better chance to advance through to the next level of difficulty. If you can finish a level with lots of tadpoles because you have been eating lots of different English definition bugs correctly in sequence without making a mistake, that helps give you a better chance as well. You will find that at some levels you finish very fast with lots of time bonus, and at other levels it may take longer and you have no time bonus but you have a huge accuracy bonus if you have been careful to only eat the correct English definition bugs which always match the the German words of your frogs.
The final arbiter to whether you advance to a new level, stay at the same level, or even drop back a level is the 'Score Tally' or 'Tadpole Bonus Tally' screen.
NOTE: You can skip the tally screens at any time when they are running by hitting any key on the keyboard.
The sample movie above shows a typical tally sequence for a level which went well in the Hungry Frog German language game. There are lots of tadpoles and a time bonus and accuracy bonus. Watch the tally sequence to understand it.
First Tally Screen
In the first tally screen, you see a stream of tadpoles swim across and down into a tube next to a frog just showing his head at the bottom of the screen. These tadpoles represent the tadpoles you had swimming around with your German word frogs at the end of the game level you just completed (with some slight variations based upon how well you did in the level). Each green tadpole makes the frog moving up the tube move up just a little bit. Each yellow tadpole makes the frog burp and move up a lot. If the frog can reach the top of the golden tube, then you will move to the next level of difficulty. The gold bar at the far right also represents the frog's progress as it move up the golden tube. If your tadpoles are not enough to get your frog to the top, then you will not advance yet to the next level of difficulty and will repeate the same level of difficulty again. This is why it is important to keep lots of tadpoles alive in the game!
Second Tally Screen
In the second tally screen your time bonus and accuracy bonus counts are added up together and then added to your score at the end of the level you just finished playing to give you a new total score. You then progress to a new level, which may or may not be a higher level of difficulty. It your frog did not have enough tadpoles in the first tally screen, you will not move to a new difficulty level, but you will have a brand new set of frogs and new bugs to try again to win at the same level you just played. Your score can sometimes be higher at a lower level than at a higher level, but both your score and the highest level you reached are recorded in your high scores. See the Hungry Frog German software high score page.
NOTE: You can skip the tally screens at any time when they are running by hitting any key on the keyboard.
The two player game is described in detail on the Hungry Frog German software Fun Menu page, but everything about bonus bugs and especially Tongue Bonus Bugs still applies in the two player game. Just as when you are playing the solo player German game, you still want to make sure that once you have a good tongue on a frog, you are extra careful with that frog to only eat correct bugs. This time, both of you want to keep all the frog tongues as wide as possible. It benefits both of you to do so, so make sure you match the the English definition bug to a valid member of your frog's German dictionary German word English definition bug list. You both move from one level to the next in the same way as for the single player game, so it is to both your advantages to have lots of tadpoles at the end of a level, even if you are playing to see who can get the better individual score in the two player game.
Whether you play the Hungry Frog German Two Player Game or the regular single player game, if you ever run out of tadpoles which always swim around with your frogs throughout every game level, the game ends. When your tadpoles are getting low in number, a warning count blinks just below the player name under the game screen bug box. You will also hear a bleep every time you lose another tadpole to remind you that you need to start eating some bugs correctly or you may run out of tadpoles altogether and end the game. There are two ways to get back more tadpoles if you are this close to the end. You can hope that a huge Time Bonus Bug appears to resurrect your time bonus and give more tadpoles that way (a long shot indeed), or you can be extra careful to only eat correct English definition bugs for your frog's German word. Try to eat as many different correct bugs as you can in succession, and you can often bring your tadpole count back up from just 1 tadpole to hundreds of them. Remember the more different bugs in a row you can correctly eat, the more you will regain tadpoles and get out of danger.
Finally, if the game ends because you eventually do completely run out of tadpoles the high scores will be displayed and you will receive a new high score if your score is high enough. Each player's three highest personal scores are recorded in the high scores list along with the level on which they achieved that high score. The following big screen capture shows an end of game high score where the player was playing a game with both German vocabulary and Hungry Frog German vocabulary mixed together: