Hamsterdam caught my eye a few months ago at EGX Rezzed, a group of people had gathered around an enigmatic gentleman radiating energy and excitement about the upcoming game he was showing off, and its adorable protagonist, Pimm. I watched as my friends got their hands on this colourful and fast paced brawler game, and just when it was my time to have a go, I had to rush off to a meeting…The next day I made a beeline for the Hamsterdam booth, and after besting one of the games bosses first try (by the very skin of my teeth, one more hit and I would have been dead) I walked away with my very own enamel pin of Pimm, and Hamsterdam walked away with my heart.
In Hamsterdam you take up arms as unlikely hero, Pimm. His town has been taken over, and his Grandfather taken hostage by the evil Marlo and his vermin thugs. Pimm must master Hamster-fu (Hamster kung-fu, obviously), working his way through each district, kicking out the bad guys to the curb and rescuing his hamster friends.
On the surface Hamsterdam is an adorable button mashing brawler, you tap the screen (or attack button) to pummel the bad guys, and make sure to swipe to counter enemy attacks and avoid getting your furry butt kicked. But as you progress through the levels, the game throws curve ball after curve ball, scooter levels, mini bosses and miscellaneous quick time events thrown in here and there. Meaning each level gives us something different, changing it up just enough to keep us on our toes time and time again.
While there is a store in Hamsterdam, it pleases me greatly to announce there are no microtransactions to be seen. The sunflower seeds you use as currency are picked up easily throughout the course of the game, extra ones being granted for completing specific criteria in levels – finish the fight with a KO, don’t get hit etc. What can I buy with the seeds, I hear you cry, well, not only can you make Pimm look dashing with a pink glasses and fish gloves ensemble, but each item has a unique bonus, some as simple as ‘do more damage’ others are a little more expensive, but will grant you extra Hamster-fu abilities!
I was lucky enough to get to play through Hamsterdam on both mobile (iPhone XS) and Nintendo Switch. The main difference between the two is the switch gives you the option to use motion controls with the joy-cons, being an impossibly lazy human being, the motion control option quickly became tiring for me so I swapped back to handheld mode. You can either use the touch screen of the switch or the controller buttons, so no matter which way you want to play, there’s an option for everyone! Both editions played seamlessly, although I did have a few issues with the final boss on the mobile version bugging out, resulting in me having to close the game down and reload the boss from the beginning; this was more of a blessing in disguise as my first few attempts at the boss were.. not great.
No matter what platform you load up Hamsterdam on, you’re in for lots of fast paced, ferocious fun. While it’s not one of the longest games out there, there is plenty of replay-ability and for just £1.99 (on mobile) it’s a steal and definitely worth downloading for you morning commute, although I take no responsibility if you find yourself loading up the game while you should be working, that’s between you and Pimm.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*