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Updated November 20, 2004

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Wandering Hamster
(Hamster Republic)

"The best QBRPG ever is about a hamster? You better believe it!"

For many years, the kingdom of Flanat was a peaceful and isolated paradise where all the good-natured hamsters could play in the castle grounds, worship their gods, and learn to be vagabonds. But one day, Lord Broaste sent an army of evil hamsters from his kingdom. While all the hamsters were asleep, Broaste broke into the castle and kidnapped Flanat's ruler, Lord Hasim.

That morning, Bob the hamster notices that something is very different about his home town of Flanat. So, he ventures back from his Slime training and discovers the horrible occurences of the past night...

Game Review
Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
Two things make Wandering Hamster stick out from the rest of the QBRPGs in this list. First of all, Wandering Hamster sports zany cartoon-style graphics instead of going medevil with the landscape. Yet I didn't feel like I was playing a cartoon game like the swarm of Looney Tunes games that are in the market either. Every detail from the throwing weapons to the ocean is cleanly animated. One thing I liked in particular was the attention paid to spell animations. Some spells take up the whole screen and are an absolute joy to watch, but at the same time the special effects take too long like Final Fantasy VII. Very professional.
Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
What surprised about Wandering Hamster is the lack of sound effects that ought to accompany a game with the graphical detail that this game delivers. This would usually be a calling for me to deduct a point, as a game shouldn't have a perfect score in the sound and music category if the sound element is left sorely absent.

However, Wandering Hamster's original soundtrack is just too good to ignore. The original, mellow tunes give Wandering Hamster and his misadventures a hilarious and addictive edge.

Gameplay (n.)
The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
(Very Good)
First of all, let me comment on this RPG's layout. There are quite a few towns to walk around, and every time you find one talking to all the people (or hamsters) further the story. And there is a lot of humorous dialogue to treat you along the way.

The caverns and castles are also laid out in the spirit of a Final Fantasy game and in this regard, the game easily rivals Final Fantasy II in terms of its scope. While the dungeons in this game take pretty long to pass, there is plenty of fighting that keeps you into the game, instead of getting bored because the adventure gets monotonous (which hardly happens to Wandering Hamster.)

As for the battles, the various characters who join your party have their own spells and Spam attacks, adding a deep battle element. Add some hidden items and a great menu system and you've got perfect gameplay.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
(Very Good)
A funny story! There's something you don't see in QBRPGs a lot. The humor in Wandering Hamster is very light, and it's not in-your-face. The animals going on an adventure story is mixed with some light adult humor. I hate to say it, but this is a QB game for the whole family.

The presentation of the story is also superb. Imagine an introduction with full-screen cartoony art and music in the background. Then listen for some slapstick wit Bob the hamster and his friends showcase can appeal to people of all ages.

Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
Though it's only a demo version the game already features plenty of antics and elements that make it more complete than any other game out there in QB. There are lots of items and spells to fiddle around with and discover, and there are even some decisions you have to make. One part of the game involves choosing a magical item that you will take with you in your quest. The one you choose affects how your character's attack develops. And that's just plain cool.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
(Very Good)
There are some puzzles to solve in this game that won't be taken by simply advancing experience levels. But there are some times where you have to train your characters, since the difficulty of the enemies and mazes progress from easy to moderate. The result is a charming blend of RPG elements.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
(Very Good)
Absolute fun! It tries to be Final Fantasy, but instead of becoming another clone Wandering Hamster becomes a memorable and fun experience! It reminds me of Nintendo and Square's collaboration, Super Mario RPG (except you get a lot of Hamster humor). If you want a more light-hearted RPG, you must download this game!
Players 1 player Genre: Role Playing Game
Rating To solve: 8 hours Final Rating: 28/35

To download Wandering Hamster (979KB), click here.
wThe review shown on this page is from an older version of this game.
wIf you're unzipping this program in DOS, you may have to use the -d option.
wTo play Wandering Hamster, run "GAME.EXE -KEYONLY".

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Game Summary
Coding Group
Hamster Republic
Homepage URL
Final Rating
28 out of 35 points

The Highs: A long, involved quest in the spirit of SNES Square RPGs with an original twist and deep gameplay.
The Lows: Game ends abruptly after over eight hours of solid play.

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