Review: Hamsterdam: Paws of justice

Today we are going to drill our way to the red light district in Hamsterdam: Paws of Justice. What started on Kickstarter can now finally be played and we got to try out the Nintendo Switch version!

Hamsterdam is an Indie title, a game that is perfect for a handheld like the Nintendo Switch. This beat-'em-up is all about the criminal redemption of Hamsterdam. Hamsterdam comes from Muse Games, the studio behind steampunk MMO Guns of Icarus Online . As you will notice throughout the review, the game is inspired by kung-fu movies from the eighties! First, check out the Hamster-Fu trailer below.


story

The story of Hamsterdam is quite simple, you play as Pimm, a pretty good kung-fu fighter who also happens to be a hamster. The city you live in is being terrorized by a gang. This gang is led by the villain Marlo. Marlo is a chinchilla and also the leader of the Vermin Gang. They have destroyed your city and also kidnapped your grandfather. So it's up to you to stop this gang. This story isn't very deep, of course, but it isn't necessary for a simple indie title either. The game does not want to be complex but just offer a good time. Eventually you will fight your way to the red light district where you will have to end the terror.
However, the story is told from well-drawn cinematography, which I'll come back to later!

Gameplay

Hamsterdam lets you play through three cities with different stages and challenging boss fights. The game is quite simple in gameplay. This does not mean that the game is easy. The game gradually becomes more difficult and each map has its own challenges. You have to fight against different enemies in each stage and use a combination of rhythm, precision and sometimes just randomly hitting buttons.
The game comes across as a classic arcade brawler. You have to push buttons to attack and making combos and stronger attacks is done by swiping a specific rhythm on the screen. With your joy-con you can also perform combos by throwing your left joystick at the desired enemy and using the attack button. The combat is quite simple and you don't have to learn much for it, but timing is important and you can quickly take over rounds completely.
The game gets progressively harder, so you'll need to quickly understand how some controls work in the beginning. Again, it is a simple experience that is nice to have played once. What is a pity is that this reduces the chance of starting a new game, since I had seen it again after one playthrough.
Boss fights consist of different challenges like running away from a big hamster orb and dodging the big fist of the big bad. These battles were a lot of fun to play and could be quite difficult at times. For example, there was also a level where you had to collect seeds on a scooter or where you had to dodge bombs from a pipe that you climbed up. The game is full of fun but challenging puzzles and there is more depth than you might think!

graphics

Hamsterdam looks pretty nicely drawn. The drawing style fits perfectly with the image of the game. Despite some aspects, it has also been made quite child-friendly. You will not expect that since there is just a red light district in the game. All in all, the game is aesthetically good and I myself had few irritations at this point. Most indie games are good at mastering a certain drawing style, but the cinematics in this game really stand out for me. The game keeps everything nice and simple and to the point.

Verdict

Hamsterdam is a simple indie game that brings a fun experience to play through once in a while. The game is nicely drawn and has good classic arcade mechanics. You can put on your hamster cute glasses and make your way to the red-light district, how cool is that? The game is perfect for iOS and Android and was surprisingly fun to play on Nintendo Switch as well. The game has nice challenges, boss fights and managed to give me a nice experience. This is definitely recommended.


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