By "Bullfrog engine" we usually mean not only the graphics engine, but also accompanying toolbox libraries which Bullfrog developed for their games.

The origins of this engine can be considered the year 1992, when the Syndicate was released. From the perspective of a game engine, is completely two-dimensional; map is arranged in blocks (called tiles), on which the two-dimensional characters move. Since the tiles make up an isometric projection of the map, player feels it as three-dimensional.

As soon as computing capabilities have allowed processors to display three-dimensional shapes in real-time, the engine has been upgraded with polygons rendering features, while the old two-dimensional mechanisms were also left. Combination of 2D and 3D graphics allowed to obtain interesting and unique graphics effects in games like Syndicate Wars, Magic Carpet, and Hi-Octane.

At this point, the engine supported 360 degrees rotatation of a camera and zooming, so there was a complete freedom of camera setting in the three-dimensional world. Surfaces, buildings and vehicles were three-dimensional in this version, while the characters and minor details were left as a two-dimensional objects. Complex system of handling lights and shadows was included - shadows were castd by three-dimensional objects, as well as the two-dimensional ones.

Complexity of the game engine made it difficult to play in higher resolutions. This particularly reflected on the Syndicate Wars sales, which despite the refinement and technical advancement, has not become as successful as its predecessor, Syndicate.

Through development of subsequent games, the engine underwent simplification and optimization. In Dungeon Keeper or Genewars, there are no complex 3D objects as in the predecessors. Still, these games look better, due to corrections in shadows support and inclusion of mesh deformations.

The culmination of work on the engine can be considered a game Populous: The Beginning, which combined the unique features known from all previous games. On-screen menu and the AI code have been made in the style of Dungeon Keeper, while the 3D objects system returned to its complexity from the time of Syndicate Wars. At the same time, the game inherited and enhanced the concept of planetary view, which originated in Genewars.

Bullfrog engine remained til its very end as software-based rendering system with 8-bit color space. Its era ended with the spread of graphics accelerators. The company developed a version of Bullfrog engine technology that supports Direct3D, but it was not particularly polished, and used only in alternative executable for Populous: The Beginning, and in the 3D patch for Dungeon Keeper.

The last games released by Bullfrog before being absorbed by Electronic Arts, were based on graphics solutions and a libraries owned by Electronic Arts.