A little too close to Ham-Ham Xtreme Volleyball.
Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games offers quite a departure from the prior Hamtaro games. No more talking puzzles and Ham-chat keywords! Instead, the game is a collection of Olympic-like sporting events with a focus on strategy, timing, and reflexes. If that doesn't catch your attention, the fact that the game is designed by AlphaDream (of Mario & Luigi fame) should.
Four teams compete for the most medals in fifteen events. The player controls the Ham-Hams, the familiar lot of hamsters from the cartoon show. The competing teams? There's the Sea-Hams, a piratey lot of seafaring hamsters; they mention things like "yar" and "keelhauling." They totally rock. There's Djungle, a youngish lot of animal-suit-wearing Hams. There's also Team Rainbow, whose special ability is being extra cute or something. Each Ham is well animated and has the usual crazy assortment of expressions, like ridiculously cute eye glimmers or literally burning with competitive spirit.
Here's a rundown of events:
The difficulty can be adjusted before each event, and the player can do as many practice rounds as they feel like. The first attempt will probably end in a dismal failure; it takes at least a few tries to get a good feel for each event. A player can try it "for real" after gaining confidence in their ability. It took a certain seasoned gamer quite a few practice rounds to get enough for the gold in most events.
Sadly, the game doesn't have link play; it only has a goofy feature called 'Player Cards.' You can, uh, dress up a generic Ham and write a happy little message and then send it to your friends. I'm sure I'd just write something obscene and send it to my friend, except that I don't know anyone my age who would be playing it, let alone making Friend Cards.
The lack of link play makes the game’s replay value pretty slim. After finishing the game, though, you can play any event at any time in Free Play mode and try to beat the world records, which is pretty fun. If it had a little more to it, it'd definitely be worth buying. As it stands, it's maybe worth buying at best. It's definitely very fun, but short...