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Hamster Cannon is the latest game from Big Blue Bubble. The studio seems to always be trying out new genres and game types, and this time around they’ve decided to tackle the physics-puzzle-game-featuring-cute-creatures trope. It’s a fairly fun and enjoyable game with nice art and sound, but it also has several issues bogging it down, from the imprecise and hard-to-aim cannons, to the rather obtrusive advertisements.
This game is all about hamsters trying to get their paws on some snacks, also known as “Noms.” The only way for them to do so is apparently to load themselves into a cannon and launch themselves all over the hamster cage. Each level gives you specific kinds of hamster ammunition and asks you to get the three noms. There are many different hamster types to work with. Regular hamsters, flaming hamsters that burn down wooden boards, helmeted hamsters that break through stone, explosive sticky hamsters to blow up some other kind of stone, and more. The idea is to use whatever hamsters you are given in the correct order with the correct aim to get all the noms you can.
Aside from the three ever important golden noms, there will also be various rainbow colored ones to collect, with each color representing a different point value. These are accumulated and used to buy new kinds of hamster hats and cannons, although the changes are cosmetic and just for the fun of it. You will also be able to buy batteries which supercharge your hamsters and let them get more noms than usual. The game is fun overall, but really, aiming the cannon precisely is far too difficult. It doesn’t move very smoothly and it’s very hard to line up. That kind of imprecision can really kill a physics puzzler of this type.
The art style is cartoony and whimsical, as it should be. The soundtrack is pretty good too, although the hamsters various yells and cheers quickly sent me into a blood boiling fury. OpenFeint achievements are also supported. The game may not be perfect, but it is entirely free. I kind of wish there was a paid version though, as you’ll be interrupted with a very obtrusive advertisement every few levels. It may not reach the godlike status of some other games in the genre, but it’s still enjoyable and completely free anyway, so download it and give it a try.