Version Reviewed: 1.01
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Hamster Chase’s greatest, most devious strength is its ability to lure players into constantly playing just one more stage. There’s always a new trick just around the corner waiting to entice. Like a hamster on a wheel, this game keeps players going and going.
Hamster Chase can be roughly described as Super Monkey Ball on a flat, 2D plane. Hamsters are in little balls and players have to smoothly tilt their device to guide them to the goal. However, from that simple foundation the game introduces a steady stream of fresh mechanics. At first players will just be tilting one hamster to a goal. Then they’ll be guiding three or four while making sure they do so in the right order without blocking off other hamsters. Then they’ll be doing that on multiple boards. Then there will be holes to dodge and just when it seems like there’s nothing left to discover, players will be running away voracious cats.
Each of these wrinkles creates fun and challenging puzzles on its own but layered on top of each they become exponentially cleverer. The game is also expertly paced and makes sure to carefully introduce each new twist without overwhelming the player. It helps that there are a hundred bite-sized levels to chew through so there are plenty of opportunities for the game to test new designs and ideas. They all aren’t successful and the tilt controls can’t always be as precise as certain stages demand but the experimentation works far more often than not.
If all that wasn’t enough, the game is full of adorable hamsters. The art style is as cute as can be, like a non-anime Hamtaro. There’s even a little side mode where the hamsters run around a cage telling corny jokes. It’s as great as it sounds.
Hamster Chase is a smart, delightful little game. Only those with hearts of stone will be able to resist its charms.