Back in 2012, a mysterious flash game called Frog Fractions took the internet by storm. Although it looked like an unassuming educational game at first glance, something much more compelling (and bizarre) was quite literally lurking beneath the surface. Four years later, the crowdfunded sequel has finally made its way out in to the wild, but figuring out how to play it is half the challenge.
Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that Frog Fractions is one of the most delightfully odd gaming surprises that I’ve ever experienced. If you haven’t played it yet, head to this link and give it a shot. I won’t spoil anything, but as soon as you have the chance to do so, dive underwater. You’ll see.
Done? Good! Let’s move on.
Following the viral success of Frog Fractions, developer Jim Crawford (aka Twinbeard) eventually decided to crowdfund a sequel. He explained that, like the previous game, the release of Frog Fractions 2 would not be even vaguely traditional — in fact, it might take time before anyone even realizes it’s available:
It will not be called “Frog Fractions 2.” It will probably be called something like “Lost Kingdom: Reckoning,” by Fork Bomb LLC or “Turbo Finance 2015” by Vespenta Holdings. Does that Russian flight sim on Desura look suspicious to you? Better play it just to make sure! Or maybe it’ll be a plugin for Bonzi Buddy and you’ll discover it when your grandpa asks you to make his email go faster. Wait, are you playing Frog Fractions 2 right now?
The Kickstarter campaign was a success, raising over $72,000 over the course of a month in early 2014. Soon after it ended, a meme began percolating, with gamers in the know constantly asking if anything suspicious was Frog Fractions 2. Seriously, there’s an entire subreddit devoted to the joke.
But while some gamers were goofing around about whether or not Donald Trump running for president might be an incredible advertisement for Frog Fractions 2, others were discovering cryptic symbols inside of other indie games that seemed to actually be drawing a path to the unreleased sequel.
Without recapping the entire alternate reality game (ARG) that countless dedicated gamers worked through, it all culminated in Crawford sending a red button with a key to one a community who had been involved in solving the mystery of Frog Fractions 2. On Christmas Day, the key was turned, the button was pressed, and Frog Fractions 2 was (secretly) launched:
Shortly after this video was published, a massive “Christmas Update” was pushed out for an inconspicuous game on Steam called Glittermitten Grove. Glittermitten is a game all its own, but like Frog Fractions before it, there’s something incredible hidden below the surface. You just have to find it.
If you want to know more about Frog Fractions 2, I highly recommend reading this interview with its creator on Waypoint. There might never be a game released quite like this ever again.