Mini-Review: Flying Hamster (iPhone)
When I first saw the PSP trailer for Flying Hamster I was enamored by its ridiculously charming chibi anime take on side-scrolling space shooters, but I instead opted for the iPhone version when it came out for the sole reason that it came with GameCenter achievements and leaderboards.
Unfortunately, as soon as I started the first level I took an instant dislike.
First off, the controls are a bit odd. While the menu claims you can change the control scheme, nothing I did had any effect. Consequently the flying hamster, who goes mad after his girlfriend is kidnapped, was stuck on auto-shoot, rendering me useless as a player. All I really needed to do was move the hamster around the screen with the virtual D-pad, but the movement is so loose there it makes it difficult to dodge oncoming attacks efficiently -- especially when my thumb blocked a playable portion of the screen and left me unaware that I needed to dodge a rabid cow running along the bottom of the screen. I hope the PSP’s analog stick controls better, because on the iPhone it just doesn’t feel right.
To fell larger groups of enemies you can charge your attack, pausing the auto-attack process. You can also pick up other weapons like an apple spread shot, root beer beam, and (for some reason) bees.
It’s also absurdly hard, so if you like that sort of thing you may enjoy Flying Hamster. I do not, though, especially from a game that doesn’t give you saves or checkpoints. That’s right: there is no save feature -- a questionable oversight for a mobile game. You’ll have to play the six levels straight through (without losing your 5 continues) to win, and if you close the app or lose all your continues you’ll start from the very beginning. While it’s fun in bursts it’s ultimately too frustrating for me.