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GBA

North America

Hamtaro: Ham Hams Unite

by Ty Shughart - December 5, 2002, 5:53 pm PST

3

The gameplay here could very well bend the laws of time and space.

Hamtaro: Ham Hams Unite is the Game Boy Color game based on the insanely cute Hamtaro cartoon. Hamtaro is the star of the game, too. It's simple to play: control Hamtaro (who can be renamed in the beginning of the game) with the control pad, run with B, and perform actions or "Ham-Chat" with A.

The graphics are extremely cute. For each of the 85 "Ham-Chat" words, there's a goofy, lovable character animation to match. It is only a GBC game, but the graphics are very clear and colorful and actually look very much like the TV show.

What does a hamster have to do in a game, exactly? Well, the objective is to locate all of the fellow Ham-Hams and get them to come back to the clubhouse. This involves exploring one of the six areas (with a top-down view) outside of the clubhouse and generally solving a puzzle. It's usually not so much as a puzzle, actually, as just using the "Ham-Chat" words (and actions) in the right places. Ham-Chat words are collected by interacting with other hamsters - the player is given a choice between usually four or eight words when prompted to use one. That's about the extent of the main game, unless you really, really want to collect all of the rocks, items, songs, or various other bafmodads.

Many of the puzzles don't even make sense, and it's entirely possible to get very stuck without the help of a guide. Talking to every Hamster doesn't seem much like a game at all. Frankly, it's more like a chore and not very fun.

There's another mode: the "Ham-Jam" mode. Using a sequence of Ham-Chat animations, a person can create a wacky dance and put it to one of the ten songs. They can also be sent to friends with a link cable. These are really funny to watch, but it’s hard to imagine a person being bothered to create and trade a bunch of them. There are a total of ten songs to find. (You may remember "Postman's Rush" as being the really cool 'B' music from Yoshi's Cookie.)

To be honest, the game feels just like Pokémon, except without the Pokémon battles. It can be pretty cute at times, but overall it's just dull and barely like playing a game at all. This might be a good first game for a small child since it's impossible to lose and is generally very similiar to the cartoon. Each Ham-Ham has the same unmistakable personality: Howdy and Dexter are always in a feud, and Penelope endlessly yammers "Uukyo!" However, if you grew up with Ninja Gaiden and are looking for a challenge you will probably only have your head explode.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
8 6 8 2 2 3
Graphics
8

Clear, colorful, and has seemingly limitless animations and reactions for the Ham Hams. It's still only a GBC game, though.

Sound
6

There are a couple of cute songs, but there's nothing special.

Control
8

It's as simple as it gets. Thank goodness running was included.

Gameplay
2

It's like a gameplay black hole; not only does it contain no gameplay, it sucks other nearby gameplay into a dark void, never to be seen again.

Lastability
2

You can collect rocks!

Final
3

Probably only small children who don't know any better will enjoy this. Maybe.

Summary

Pros
  • Characters are just like in the cartoon
  • Cute and colorful
  • Ham-Jam Mode
Cons
  • Illogical puzzles
  • No real gameplay, just walking around and talking to characters
  • Too much collecting
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Genre Simulation
Developer Nintendo
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Hamtaro: Ham Hams Unite
Release Year 2002
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
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