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This was a game I played in school aged 5 or 6 (in year one or two), which would be in 1991. I believe it was on a BBC Acorn, though it might have been some other computer; it seemed old fashioned to me at the time, anyway, so probably something from the 80s.

The game was, I think, very similar to Granny's Garden; blocky text interspersed with colourful images, educational/puzzley gameplay and a second person style of prose. (At least, I think there were pictures; I might be conflating it with Granny's Garden and it was actually just text). Since this was in primary school it was most likely an educational title (or edutainment), or something that was distributed to schools.

The only part of the game I can actually remember, though, is that at one point a troll (possibly ogre?) turns you into a frog (possibly toad?) and that, rather than being a bad ending, this makes you small enough to fit through a tunnel (or something) that you couldn't previously get through, so is required to advance to a new area.

I've tried checking out 4mation's other games besides Granny's Garden (Flower of Crystal, etc) but they still enforce copyright rigorously; from what I've seen on YouTube videos, though, it doesn't seem to be one of them.

Edit: I've been looking through some old BBC games, and screenshots by the company "Sherston Software" (for example, this game) seem fairly similar to my recollections, so it's possibly part of their catalogue. Unfortunately they seem rather poorly documented online, so I can't tell for sure - but the style of game matches up.

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    ESCAPE FROM MOONBASE ALPHA? - "ESCAPE FROM MOONBASE ALPHA is sometimes billed as an adventure, but is not the NORTH, SOUTH, EAST affair. You are lost in a maze of rooms searching for a doctor and collecting bags of gold. There are a large variety of monsters (generally one to a room), mystical characters and objects about. You will need to fight any monsters before you can pick up gold in that room - and you will probably be turned into a frog by a mad television set at some point. (I kid you not!)"
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 1:42
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    @Valorum Had a look at it, but it's not the one - my game didn't have any action segments (gameplay was more in the type into a text parser model), and I'm pretty sure was more fantasy rather than sci fi.
    – Showsni
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 1:49
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    Granny's Garden haunted my childhood. I bought it in my late twenties, and finally won. (Took me two or three goes though.) TAKE THAT WITCH Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 11:07
  • @Showsni: Is "Demon's Lair" not the right answer? Can you provide why it doesn't match, even if it's "No, I watched the video and it's a different game that looks a lot like that".
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 20:54
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    @PaulD.Waite Telling me to "Take that"?! How dare you! I SHALL SEND YOU HOME AT ONCE! Commented Mar 19, 2022 at 11:39

3 Answers 3

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Maybe it's the ZX Spectrum game "Camelot Warriors" (1986). Watch this video in case it brings back any memories.

grainy picture of a knight, mostly blue, grey and green shades

"Camelot Warriors" is a platform game for ZX Spectrum and some other 8 bits computers with a fantastic medieval setting in which the character must take a series of modern objects (a light bulb, a soda can) to a series of final mages in each phase.

In order to survive in the water phase the character needs to be transformed into a frog by one of these mages.

2D platform view, a frog is next to a puddle of water

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    In case videos go away, can you describe what they're looking for?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 12:20
  • Done. Thanks a lot.
    – Ginasius
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 17:17
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    Thanks for looking, but doesn't seem right - I don't think there was any moving about or action at all. I feel like you didn't even see your main character, except possibly in some still images.
    – Showsni
    Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 23:35
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Just to run down Acorn games that involve being turned into a frog, apparently The 4th Dimension's Demon's Lair (1993) has that happen as per this review:

Front cover of *Demon's Lair*

Apparently your village used to be protected by a kind dragon who has been captured and imprisoned in chains (must be pretty strong chains then!). The villages greatest warrior has been sent to release the dragon and stop the terror plaguing the village folk. You are not this warrior though (and you though you stood a fighting chance, huh!) because he has already fallen foul of the enemies that he has dared to face. You are just another member of the village community and have, unfortunately for you, drawn the short straw to go and free the dragon.

....

Another of the points that I really enjoyed (call me a masochist if you like) was the point at which I mistakenly stayed too close to the witch for too long. Well, the character (whose name, incidentally, is Bob) is turned into a frog. Painful, you might say, but believe me it is useful in certain situations

Gameplay

Around the 2:00 mark, you see Bob enter into a small door that he could not fit in before. It's not a troll, but it is a green-skinned witch, which could be mistaken for a troll. It's also more action-oriented than you suggested the game would be.

Found with a search for "bbc acorn" "into * frog"

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  • Thanks for looking, but doesn't seem right - I don't think there was any moving about or action at all. I feel like you didn't even see your main character, except possibly in some still images.
    – Showsni
    Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 23:35
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If "some other computer" is possibly an early PC, this description is somewhat Kings'-Quest-ish (1984). You use simple commands to guide the onscreen player around the map and various responses appear. Unfortunately, there's no text in this snap, but it was definitely blocky!

pixellated video game, character about to cross a bridge leading to a castle

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  • Definitely wasn't King's Quest, I am familiar with most of Sierra's games, but thanks for looking! I don't think there was any moving about or action at all. I feel like you didn't even see your main character, except possibly in some still images.
    – Showsni
    Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 23:35

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