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Flying Hamster

For: iPhone   Also on: PSP

Stuck in a wheel

Product: The Flying Hamster | Developer: The Game Atelier | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: US | App version: 1.0.1
The Flying Hamster iPhone, thumbnail 1
With its cute graphics and cuddly hero, Flying Hamster does a nice job recycling the side-scrolling shooter of yesteryear.

Relying purely on its charm, this is a shoot-'em-up that does nothing more than put a friendly face on a tired formula.

Lacking depth, replay value, and respectable length, Flying Hamster holds little appeal beyond its colourful presentation - even by the most forgiving fan standards this shooter is shallow.

Member of the mile-high club

The adventure begins when Newton the hamster witnesses the abduction of his furry female friend Sookie. Not content to sit back and wait for help, he dons a pair of flying goggles and takes to the skies.

Using spit as a weapon, you travel through six stages filled with enemies ranging from stinging bees and milk-squirting cows to angry mushrooms that throw their caps at you and desert-loving Egyptian penguins.

It's undeniably cute. Guiding an airborne hamster is entertaining, at least for a short time. Each level comes loaded with fun, well-conceived weapons like sunflower seeds spat out at super speed, killer bees that fly toward your target, and beer that gushes out in a stream to drown your foe.

Charging your shots unleashes even funnier attacks like a super-sized gush of beer that practically rips Newton's jaw off.

The controls work well, too - the default 1:1 touch configuration involves holding a finger to the screen to move, with automatic shooting - although you're free to select from three other control schemes. Unsurprisingly, these aren't as functional as the default, but they're available nonetheless.

Too cute for its own good

Despite its apparent creativity, Flying Hamster relies entirely on its charm to make up for highly formulaic gameplay. Spitting sunflower seeds or a stream of beer instead of a laser gun doesn't render the action any different from other, more satisfying shooters.

This is a poor man's R-Type in cutesy clothing, putting aside the fact it's more than five times the price.

Flying Hamster lacks weapon upgrades or equipment to customise your hamster, which in turn leaves it without much depth.

A paltry six stages makes for a short play and the lack of modes - you can't even select levels you've completed - severely hampers replay value. Game Center and OpenFeint leaderboards encourage high score posting, but the gameplay is so plain that there's little reason for replay.

As a quick distraction, Flying Hamster is entertaining enough, but behind its cuteness hides shallow gameplay that is easily forgotten.
Flying Hamster
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 10 January 2011
Flying Hamster charms with bright colours and an adorable hero, but its shallow shooter gameplay is stuck in a wheel
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Anonymous | 08:02 - 17 January 2011
I completely disagree with this review!

You can choose any stage to play if you passed it...you just click training!
And yes there is a hard mode, and loads of different control options which adds to the fun of the game!
Jan 2011
Post count:
Apache | 13:15 - 11 January 2011
I have this game on iPhone and have to say it is really funny and nice.