Hamster-based puzzling fun
Bob the Hamster is a classic slice of homebrew gaming that recently saw a Steam Greenlight campaign for a remake by its original creators and while the modern version might boast flashier graphics and updated mechanics, there's something to be said for the original's old-school charm which makes it even more appealing. It's a puzzler inspired by the likes of arcade games including Boulderdash, DigDug and Mr. Do where players take on the role of the eponymous hamster (although he doesn't really look much like one) and must explore a series of maze-like levels, grabbing carrots and other such delights, while avoiding, squashing or just plain blasting whatever nasty beasts he runs into along the way. It's all pretty simple stuff, lacking the sheer genius of something like Boulderdash (as well as that game's frenetic pace) but it is an undeniably addictive little experience which offers up a fair amount of challenge and some decent arcade/puzzling fun. The visuals are straightforward enough and although Bob does look more like a dog than a hamster, he and his enemies are undeniably charming in a retro way. Sound however is minimal, with a few crunching effects and Bob's occasional witticisms being pretty much the only thing to trouble your ears. The levels are generally well designed, with plenty of possible approaches to their completion while the variety should keep the undiscerning player entertained for some reasonable length of time. Bob the Hamster is certainly no classic (and it's hard to see why exactly a modern remake was thought to be desired) but it does provide a decent amount of easy going fun for a wet Sunday afternoon.