GLX reviews Flying Hamster for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Publisher/ Developer - Game Atelier
The typical 2D shooter features a lone ship trying shoot other ships, while dodging bullets and other projectiles. The Game Atelier's Flying Hamster is similar to that, except that it involves animals and other entities. It's bizarre and amusing, while being entertaining.
Newton and his girlfriend are walking along the beach, when they find a seed. She snatches it, but is instantly captured. Newton suits up and vows to rescue his girlfriend. His quest will lead him through such exotic locales as Egypt and Japan.
There are multiple control options, but the default controls work well. Newton is moved by touching the left side of the screen, while the A and B buttons control the shooting; however, when the A button is held down to charge a special shot. That same technique also affects power ups, which can lead to various power functions. Speaking of the power ups, there are a variety of them and each level has a specific set of power ups available.
By no means is this an easy game. Expect to die - a lot. Constantly playing the game will lead to success, in more ways than one. For every 30 minutes played, the game adds an additional credit (aka continue). Even after a considerable amount of time with the game, there are some spots are continuously challenging. Still, the game rewards gamers for their success with bonus content.
What really makes Flying Hamster stand out is its bizarre world. On one level, there's a cow shooting energy bullets from its utters; on another level, there are penguins that are shooting at Newton, while gently descending with an umbrella in hand. The bosses are memorable and have their own unique characteristics; the variety in the gameplay and the execution of the developer's ideas really makes it work.
The graphics are lovely and crisp; the layout of the interface is old-school, yet modern. All of the enemies in the world of Flying Hamster range from the average to flat-out awesome. Chickens that leave behind explosive eggs? Check. Bears that throw fish at the gamer? Check. Outside of the enemies, the developers added some cool details within the game. There's a part in the first level, when Newton flies past a bar in the middle of the forest. Cats are throwing their paws at each other, while another one is vomiting. In the second level, penguins are gathered around Egyptian-inspired architecture, while a whale is forced to carry materials for the evil penguins. It leaves a great impression and is just awesome to take in.
The sound design is has an old-school vibe to it; the sound effects and music feel like they were ripped from a old video game. That's not so say that it's not good. It's appropriate for the game, but it's not as memorable as the other parts of the game.
Flying Hamster is flat-out fun to play and is a must for fans of old-school shooters. It stands apart from other games in the App Store, while using a staple game genre. If you can get past the difficulty, you're bound to have a good time.
8* out of 10*
Written or Contributed by: GLX
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