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Arcade: Solo beat-em-up
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Phil South
Chris Bourne

Aaayyyiii-yyyaaahhh! Eh? That hardly seems appropriate to the review of a game about a cuddly little hamster. Mind you, this is no ordinary hamster, for he is a Radioactive Black Belt Hamster, based on the comic-book of the same name. From the same stable (hutch?) that brought you Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, these wacky cult comics have been the toast of the Independent American comics circuit (cheers, you guys) for a couple of years now. I suppose it was inevitable that some bright spark would figure that these humorous rodents would translate very rapidly to the small screen.

You play the part of Ninja Hamster, a hard-fisted, fully qualified fluffy little hamster of doom, against the might of the Lizards of Death. You take on the renegade martial artists one after the other as they terrorise the plains of the Orient First the Doom Rat, then a Lizard of Death, then a Killer Bee, and then the rest
of them, Karate Lobsters, Black Belt Parrots and a variety of other deadly housepets out squawking for your blood.

The controls for the game are pretty much the same as for any ninja/martial arts type game with Mid Punch, Squat Kick, High Kick, Jump and the inevitable Flying Kick. The game is played in a one screen arena like Exploding Fist, and you can score by how many hits you place on the body of your opponent. The hits are registered by huge apples at the top of the screen, which have chunks bitten out of them the more hits you or your opponent score. When you get down to a core (Cor!) you're out for the count. A bit like the Yin-Yang symbols in Way Of The Tiger, but with a Golden Delicious, if you get my gist.

Now. I would have thought that another ninja game would be one too many. Just shows how wrong you can be. (Okay, how wrong I can be.) There was room for just one extremely funny ninja animals game, and so here it is. Ninja Hamster is a brilliantly funny game, with a profound sense of the ridiculous, and the most original new twist yet on the usually snoreworthy ninja/karate scenario.

A superb cartoon-style martial arts game with a unique combination of fast, gritty action and an oddball sense of humour.


Screenshot Text

Here we see Ninja Hamster heroically tackling the Lizard of Doom. The thing to watch about this particular assailant is that he has a huge club, which gives him better hitting power. Just take him out with a series of well-timed flying kicks. Be sure to step back a bit first, though.