Crossy Road: How Old Games Influence New Games

Filled under “there’s almost nothing new under the sun”, it’s 2014’s hugely popular Crossy Road which drew its concept inspiration from Frogger and its name from Flappy Bird-inspired naming conventions.

It’s not a big deal if it works but the obvious influence and re-skinning of games is yet another of example of how to execute a concept and turn it into something successful: take an old idea, modernize it, re-brand it, profit. This is nothing new and has been happening since the dawn of the early industrialists and whose tradition has been continued by today’s modern entrepreneur. Bit of a stretch? I don’t think so.

Is Crossy Road Creative theft or just entrepreneurial moxie?

Now about Crossy Road. It’s been downloaded over 100,000,000 times. Yes. That’s 100 million. Really. Let’s put that in all bold caps to really feel the impact: ONE HUNDRED MILLION. Do you feel that? That’s pretty insane. So what made Crossy Road so special? After all, it’s basically just Frogger but instead of a cute frog, you’re a cute, blocky chicken. You’re still crossing the road, but this time the playing field is presented in isometric view. In fact, not only does the chicken never get to the other side, but there IS no other side as Crossy Road is never-ending as your cubic chicken tries to survive as the playing field and traffic becomes more elaborate and difficult to navigate.  This would be unlike the traffic situation in Loop Taxi where the challenges are finite.

There are also many different characters besides the default chicken, which can all be unlocked throughout the game. Personally, I think the most enjoyable way to play is to just keep the character select on Random. The environment will change to match the character that you’re playing.

And that’s how Crossy Road is different, and more playable than old Frogger ever was. Go ahead and play Frogger online and compare. Sure, it’s a classic arcade game but it won’t hold your attention for more than a few rounds. In the process of creating art, products or games (even music), the original kernel of the idea was there all along. Often, the original idea was executed decades before. It takes someone to come along, take the basic principle, and reinvent the product. That’s sometimes called Creative Theft. You’re not actually stealing or copying, but taking an old idea and making it your own through re-invention.

Now take a closer look at Crossy Road. This is what taking it to the next level, and beyond, is all about. Crossy Road with its endless gameplay keeps giving and you never know what you’re going to get. Hey, if there’s an homage to Pac Man in there, there might just be an homage to Frogger.

crossy road themes

Developer: Hipster Whale
Publisher: Yodo1 Games
Download it from Google Play
Download it from iTunes

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