Nintendo: Hamtaro to fall
Looking for something new this Friday? You've got limited options. Although sniper special Silent Scope finally appears on the GBA from Konami, that's about as 'high end' as it gets. Indeed, the only other release we're aware of is Nintendo's "Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite!" What's more it's a Game Boy Color release - aimed at younger brothers and sisters with their hand-me-down handhelds.
Hamtaro is "set to be the must have game for kids in 2003", says the company that gave birth to Pokemon. Hamtaro was first introduced to children in Japan as a series of illustrated storybooks in 1997. Spin-offs since then include the obligatory TV series (screening on Fox TV in Europe), music releases and home videos.
But what the hell is it? Another collect 'em up? Card battler? What! Well, the Ham Hams are a group of hamsters, each with its own history and personality, and the game seems to be a puzzler-meets-Pokemon affair, as the player attempts to find all his or her hamster friends and accompany them back to the Club House - by combining over 80 terms to learn the Ham Ham's distinctive dialect, and solving a plethora of puzzles.
We'll be taking a brief look at Hamtaro when we get our hands on it, hopefully later this week.