Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games - GBA

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Viewed: 2D Combination Genre:
Sport: Athletics
Arcade origin:No
Developer: AlphaDream Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (GB)
Released: 16 Jul 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Connectivity: Link Cable
Accessories: GBA Wireless Adapter


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Now there aren't a great deal of sporting events that you'd normally associate with hamsters - except possibly the solo rodent-wheel marathon sprint, or maybe even vertically-suspended metal bar gnawing. Certainly not pole vault or archery anyway, which are just two of the events found within this rather bizarre Track and Field-style rodent Olympics affair from Japanese developer AlphaDream.

Set in the fictional Rainbow Kingdom, the game's story tells of a sponsored event known as the Ham-Ham Sports Festival, within which a host of the popular cartoon-derived Hamtaro characters are competing. You take control of a range of different hamsters as they take part in the various competitions that best suit their abilities. There are 15 of these events in total, including the likes of synchronised swimming, diving, hammer-throw, sprinting and beach volley, each offering a difficulty curve that is both easy to pick up yet difficult to master.

Obviously, the main objective is to play through the myriad challenges and attempt to claim the top prize in each case, as you compete against various other teams from across the Rainbow Kingdom, such as the Rainbow Girls, Team Djungle and Team Seahams (a pirate-themed team). As well as this, the game also offers dozens of collectibles throughout, which can subsequently be traded via a link cable (or wireless adapter) with other like-minded, GBA-owning, hamster-loving, virtual Olympians. And not only this, linking up also allows you trade your personal profiles and statistics, so you can compete against your friends by trying to beat their best scores.

Ham-Ham Games is peculiar, it's Japanese, and it's also a great deal of fun. We really thought we'd seen it all, but a hamster playing tennis? Now that's just something else.