Hamsters, Archimedes

Hamsters is a hilarious action game where the aim is to squash cute animals with a large wooden mallet and to collect the goodies that they drop as a result of being hit… Haha. Take that: cute animals!

Now before you screw your face up in disgust, number one: I love animals, just as much as the next environmentally-minded person does, and number two: this is just a daft video game; and where better to squash helpless animals than in a computer game (and not in real life)?! And, to add insult to injury to these defenceless creatures, they also explode in a torrent of gibs when you hit them! Heh… The game’s designer even uses descriptive cartoon bubbles to emphasise the on-screen carnage.

Actually, the mallet-swinging mechanic of Hamsters is very interesting, because you use it to propel your little yellow guy to places he otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach. You use it like a kind of spring, and holding down fire to charge the shot produces a much harder hit, and the follow-through on the swing creates momentum in the direction the hammer is swung.

The aim of each of the 80 levels is to squash all the animals before the time limit is reached, and to of course obtain as high a score as possible in doing that. Some animals take more than one hit to dispatch – turtles, for example, have a shell that’ll break after five or six hits, and snails also have a protective shell that takes multiple hits to break. Most animals just take a single well-placed hit to take out, though. Some animals fly (like butterflies and wasps), and some – like frogs – will jump to avoid your swings, which can make them difficult to hit.

You can gain extra points by smashing certain parts of the scenery and revealing extra goodies to pick up, or by finding hidden areas by breaking walls. As the levels progress new hazards introduce themselves, like springs (that shoot the little yellow guy some distance into the air), water traps (fall into water and instantly lose a life), conveyor belts, snap traps, and fire jets. Time limits are strict, and sometimes short, and more often than not you’ll find yourself having to re-try a level because you ran out of time. Thankfully the game has a password system that saves you having to re-play early levels if you’ve already completed them (see below for a full list of passwords).

Visually, Hamsters is gaudy but the scrolling is silky smooth and all the creatures are well animated. Hamsters is also the first Archimedes game I’ve seen (so far) that uses a high resolution widescreen graphics mode (at 832×576), which makes it look quite modern. The music is pretty good too.

Overall, I’d have to say that Hamsters is one of the best original games on the Archimedes. It’s silly and immature and will not appeal to everyone, but the mechanics are good enough to make it fun and challenging. I spent far too much time playing it, and enjoyed every minute of it. Well, almost every minute of it – it can get a little frustrating when you’re trying to squash a frog and it just won’t stay still. 🙂

Hamsters was developed by GamesWare and published by Eclipse in 1994.

See also: The King of Grabs Archimedes Special

Hamsters Acorn Archimedes Level Passwords:

Level 01 = ONE
Level 02 = QUICKONE
Level 03 = BILLYGOATSGRUFF
Level 04 = QUALITY
Level 05 = EATASPROUT
Level 06 = EATYOURGRANNIES
Level 07 = ARGHTAXMAN
Level 08 = IFYOUDLIKE
Level 09 = INCHNAILS
Level 10 = THOUSANDMANIACS

Level 11 = DINOSAURS
Level 12 = THEMALLSORTSEH
Level 13 = ITSALLTOOTRAGIC
Level 14 = REMEMBERGYRINUS
Level 15 = ONEANDFIVE
Level 16 = LEAVESCHOOLAT
Level 17 = TOTHEPOUND
Level 18 = TWOYEARSAGO
Level 19 = IWASTHEN
Level 20 = IAMNOW

Level 21 = IWILLBESOON
Level 22 = NUXICANTBEBEATEN
Level 23 = SENDMEMONEY
Level 24 = ASEQUELSURE
Level 25 = NINISSMART
Level 26 = MEATBALLS
Level 27 = SUNFLOWERS
Level 28 = VECTORSBLEURGH
Level 29 = FOOTHILLS
Level 30 = SURFERS

Level 31 = KNICKERSTOYOU
Level 32 = DONTPHONETHE
Level 33 = USAITSVERY
Level 34 = EXPENSIVE
Level 35 = EIGHTEENDAYSLEFT
Level 36 = DOLPHINSEVERYWHERE
Level 37 = MERCURY
Level 38 = BAGELS
Level 39 = LYSDEXIC
Level 40 = SEENCYCLOIDS

Level 41 = MOLUSCS
Level 42 = ULTIMATEANSWER
Level 43 = WATERLILLIES
Level 44 = ACNEWHERE
Level 45 = PLANTPOTS
Level 46 = WHOLOVESSLUGS
Level 47 = OHFORAWALRUS
Level 48 = KILLTHE
Level 49 = LAGBEAST
Level 50 = YOUSHOULDTRY

Level 51 = THINKINGUP
Level 52 = EIGHTYPASSWORDS
Level 53 = ITAINTEASY
Level 54 = FURRYPENGUIN
Level 55 = MAUVE
Level 56 = PURPLE
Level 57 = PURPLEPURPLE
Level 58 = MUCHTOCOME
Level 59 = NOTENBUS
Level 60 = DONTTRYFISH

Level 61 = DENTURES
Level 62 = CITPYRC
Level 63 = FREEM
Level 64 = SPANGLE
Level 65 = PINEAPPLE
Level 66 = HEYYOUADDICTEDYET
Level 67 = YOUSHOULD
Level 68 = GOTOTHEPUB
Level 69 = EATYOURVEG
Level 70 = BELUCKY

Level 71 = FOODFORTHOUGHT
Level 72 = POTATO
Level 73 = RADISH
Level 74 = CUCUMBER
Level 75 = CHOCCIES
Level 76 = GREENBEANS
Level 77 = THREETOGO
Level 78 = NEARLYTHERE
Level 79 = PENULTIMATEONE
Level 80 = ATLASTTHEFINALE

Note: all the existing Hamsters passwords I’ve seen online have errors in them. Probably because the posters are lazy and couldn’t be bothered to test them and fix them and just copy and pasted them from elsewhere. The above list have all been checked, tested and work, 100%.

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