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Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge review - hop to it and help restore nature

We checked out Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge on Nintendo Switch, and we think its toadally awesome - hop into our review to find out more.

kamaeru frog refuge review - a blue leopard print frog on a background of a farm

Our Verdict

We had a ribbeting time with Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge as it offers a wholesome story with a goal to work towards - restoring the wetland and welcoming plenty of amphibians back to bask in nature.

There’s nothing I like more than a pleasant, animal-themed indie game, which is why Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge caught my eye. I had a wonderful time playing it, so if you enjoy frogs and nice, simple little games, read on to see if it’s for you.

Right off the bat, you hop into a lovely world with a pleasant art style, where you meet Cleo, a girl sick of her desk job and wanting a change. She remembers the wetlands she used to visit with her friend Axel as kids and heads back to see how they’re faring. This kicks off a new frog-collecting career, where you must reform the wetlands and create a refuge for all the froggies.

The game is adorable. At every turn, there are – obviously – brightly colored frogs waiting for you to snap a picture of them and add them to your journal. Slowly but surely, you work through tasks to revive the wetland area. You unlock a furniture store, where you can also sell goods you make, you find a researcher to help you breed newfangled frogs, and a few other NPCs that provide excellent services.

To bring life back to the wetland area, you need to place ponds, berry bushes, and other plants – which allow you to harvest bugs to feed your frogs and produce that you can turn into sellable items. Also, the ponds provide a place for frogs to kick back and relax, as do some of the placeable items like bathtubs, logs, armchairs, and more.

kamaeru frog refuge review - a screenshot showing the game on Switch with frogs using furniture

Kamaeru has a really addictive gameplay loop of looking for frogs, collecting items, creating products, selling them, and then buying items to attract more frogs. I’ve put a few hours into this by now and have maybe a third of all the possible frog combinations – frogbinations, if you will – of colors and designs. There are over 500 to find and perhaps one day, I’ll photograph them all.

Performance could be a little smoother on Switch, but it’s nothing to complain about – the game sticks a tiny bit if you quickly move around the map all the time as I do in my frog-finding frenzy. Decorating would also likely be easier with a keyboard and mouse, but it’s not hard to get the hang of it on a Switch.

kamaeru frog refuge review - a menu showing the amount of vegetation present and carbon capture ability

Do I feel like a frog expert now? A frexpert? Maybe. My limited amphibian knowledge tells me that all of the frogs are good lil’ guys that deserve to be well looked after in our refuges. Kamaeru: A Frog Refuge is a delightful little indie game, and if you enjoy wholesome adventures, frogs, and restoring natural environments – you’re gonna love it.

You can also check out even more frog games on Switch if you want to continue hopping along as an amphibian or try your hand at these farm games.