PRESENTED BY GIANT BOMB’S RESIDENT HAMSTER EXPERT, MODERATETROUBLE
Hello and welcome to the most important list ever compiled on the internet.
Let me introduce myself. I’m moderateTrouble, I’ve owned hamsters for nearly 4 years and hamsters are the best animals ever. What, you think dogs are better than hamsters? Well, sorry buddy you’re wrong. Hamsters are the best. And you know I’m right because I’ve got “HAMSTER EXPERT” right there in the title!
Anyway, I have decided to apply my discerning hamster-loving skills to the virtual world and compile a list of the Top 10 Hamsters in Video Games. These aren’t games that necessary revolve around hamsters (though many will), they must simply include a representation of a fuzzy friend.
For diversity sake, I will limit one (1) Hamtaro game to this list. The GBA Hamtaro games are genuinely good games with surprisingly detailed art and well-written stories. But I don’t want them to overwhelm this list. Instead, I urge you all to just go play & experience them for yourself.
The games on this list are ranked based on how well they score in three categories: CUTENESS (is the ham represented adorably?), ROUNDNESS (the most important characteristic of hamsters, next to cuteness), and finally INTERACTIVITY (important thing you can do in games).
But before we begin…
HAMSTER – Maniac Mansion
“Oh Maniac Mansion, what a classic video game!” everyone says. “It’s one of the best games from my childhood!”
Well I got two words for all you Lucas Games-loving, adventure game-fanatic freaks: microwaved hamster. Based off the metric by which I am developing this list (Good Hamster Representation) Maniac Mansion is in the Worst Game Of All Time.
Now, on to the real list.
10) HAMSTER – The Sims 4 My First Pet Stuff
One thing I appreciate in the Sims 4 is the hamster cage they display is a pretty good representation of how large a single hamster’s living space should be. So, good on them! However, the hamsters in their game are just… unforgivably ugly. And they lack any
sort of character. They look like little potatoes with legs.
Also, as far as I can tell, the only problem a sim can run into with their hamster is it may break out of its cage. Here’s the thing, if you’re a responsible hamster owner this rarely-to-never happens! It’s a poor simulation of what it’s like to be a hamster owner. Does your sim have to take their hamster to the vet 2 hours way on a Saturday afternoon because their beautiful, stupid furry child shoved wood shavings into their cheek pouches and got it stuck? Huh? Does your sim have to scrub out a hamster cage at 10pm at night because they found out the reason their hamster is going bald is because they somehow contracted a bad case of the mites?! HUH??
Okay. Sorry, what was I saying?
Oh yeah, Sims 4 is at the bottom of the list because their hamsters are more decorative objects than living pets or cute characters.
CUTENESS – 1/10
ROUNDNESS – 5/10?
Potatoes are kinda round, right?
INTERACTIVITY – 1/10
I’m not holding that hamster! My sim is!
9) TOGEDEMARU – Pokemon
I can already hear people in the comments saying “Hold on! Togedemaru may be a rodent, but it’s based off the Ryukyu spiny rat! Not a hamster!”
To those people I say you are narrow-minded! Perhaps even foolish! Togedemaru is clearly a hamster. It even has the most important hamster characteristic: Round and Cute.
Due to its controversial nature, I will compromise with nay-sayers and place Togedemaru at the number 9 spot. If I had it my way, Togedemaru would easily make top 3. It’s just so dang cute.
CUTENESS – 10/10
Oh my god just LOOK AT THAT FACE! If you make Togedemaru super happy, it hops and rolls around in glee… Thank you Pokemon Company for this blessed ‘Mon.
ROUNDNESS – 10/10
INTERACTIVITY – 8/10
If you touch his cheeks in the minigame after battles in Sun and Moon, you’ll get shocked and Togedemaru smiles. It’s incredible. I will shock myself a thousand times for you, Togedemaru.
8) SPACE HAMSTER – Mass Effect 3
I’m not the biggest Mass Effect fan, but the inclusion of a Space Hamster forces me to consider it as one of the best games of all time. I mean, look at that little space buddy!!! Unfortunately, the lack of intractability and the Space Hamster’s nature as an Easter Egg (versus a Natural Hamster Inclusion, or NHI) means I cannot, in good faith, place it higher on this list.
Also someone tries to throw the ham out at one point! I know the ham is okay, but Bioware even considering putting the ham at risk is enough to nearly exclude it from this list. You’re on thin ice, Mass Effect. If they ever resurrect the franchise’s dead corpse to make a new game I expect them to treat their hamsters better.
CUTENESS – 6/10
It’s kind of blurry and it’s a little too spindly to encapsulate true hamster-cuteness. However, it’s still a hamster so it’s inherently cute.
ROUNDNESS – 1/10
Not round at all. Severe point reduction as a result.
Interactivity – 3/10
You can’t pet it, which is a huge disappointment. Step up your game Bioware!
7) JOGURT – Shining Force: The Legacy of Great Intention
I’ve personally never played Shining Force, but I’ve been aware of Jogurt for quite some time. Jogurt seems like a very good hamster. He’s got a big old helmet that doesn’t fit on him. He’s not really built for fighting, he’s more so made for being cute and fun to look at. Also, his arms always seem to be stretched out for a hug! I would give Jogurt a hug.
CUTENESS – 5/10
Jogurt is pretty cute in the game, however he’s not that cute in terms of hamster-ness. Sorry, Jogurt.
ROUNDNESS – 2/10
He’s not round! And only has a little chub, he’s pretty lean for a hamster. Sorry, Jogurt.
INTERACTIVITY – 6.5/10
You can play as Jogurt, but he isn’t very useful. His stats are all 1 and the wikia describes him as “almost completely useless and overall the weakest member of the Shining Force.” Sorry, Jogurt.
6) BOO – Baldur’s Gate
Boo is a very good hamster. Not only does the game repeatedly assert that Boo loves the player and will miss them if they stop playing, but Boo has been the inspiration for a handful of Easter Eggs in BioWare’s other titles, including the Space Hamster in Mass Effect.
If I was a video game character, I’m pretty sure I would be Minsc, Boo’s owner. My strength is also reduced by 10 when I’m separated from my hamster.
Baldur’s Gate ranks high on the Top 10 Hamster List because of its loving depiction of Boo. No harm befalls Boo, and his owner loves and cares for him so much he would do anything to protect his precious ham. Boo even acts as an emotional support animal for Minsc. Boo and Minsc offer a realistic representation of what it’s like to own a hamster.
CUTENESS – 7/10
Boo himself is very cute and seems to be represented as a very realistic Syrian hamster. The real reason cuteness is so high is because of all the pictures of Minsc and Boo melt my heart.
ROUNDNESS – 4/10
I like how realistic Boo looks (he reminds me of my own Syrian hamster!) however the downside to this is Boo isn’t represented as very round.
INTERACTIVITY – 4/10
As far as I can tell, you can’t play as Boo, so that’s an automatic point deduction from interactivity. However, there is a quest dedicated to saving Boo and reuiniting him with Minsc, so I will award points for creativity.
5) TSUMU – Tsumu
Like many others, I had never heard of Tsumu until the PlayStation Underground Demo Derby Volume 3 Issue 2 presented on Giant Bomb Dot Com. I’ve never played this game, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but my reaction to the introduction of the game and its hamster in that Demo Derby was something akin to a soft gasp filled with awe. Despite being made during the Golden Era of Point Polygons, Tsumu’s hamster manages to encapsulate the adorable roundness every ham ham possesses. Tsumu is, for lack of a better word, a beautiful virtual hamster.
Thank you, Demo Derby, for introducing me to this wonderful video game hamster.
Tsumu is adorable! The vacant expression reminds me of the look my hamster Togi gives me when I turn on the light and disturb her slumber. Very realistic.
Whether you control the eponymous Tsumu or the forklift he’s riding is ambiguous. Additionally, the game itself seems to be a series of repetitive puzzles where you match boxes with flag jpegs. The other games on this list feature much better interactivity and gameplay, and therefore I cannot rank Tsumu any higher on this list, despite its highly appealing aesthetics.
4) RICK – Kirby
Holy shit. Rick.
I don’t think it would be a stretch to call Rick the “Classic Video Game Hamster”. Rick has captured the hearts of millions since his debut in Kirby’s Dream Land 2 in 1995. He’s not just a pretty face, either! Rick has a whole bunch of abilities, like running very fast and breathing fire for some goddamn reason. I love Rick so much. When Rick showed up on the March 3rd Nintendo Direct I nearly started crying, I was so excited to see him. High definition cartoon hamsters! What more could you want in life?
CUTENESS – 7/10
Rick is very cute but I’ll be honest his dead-eyed expression kinda scares me sometimes.
ROUNDNESS – 7/10
Round, but not as round as Kirby. Still very round, though.
INTERACTIVITY – 7/10
Like I said before, Rick is great and very talented! However, you can’t play as Rick all the time and he’s not even included Kirby Star Allies base game! For shame, Nintendo.
3) HAMLET AND APPLE – Animal Crossing New Leaf, Happy Home Designer and Pocket Camp
Animal Crossing New Leaf brought many much-needed innovations to the Animal Crossing series. Building shops in towns, expanded furniture and fashion options, and most importantly, hamster villages. Of the handful introduced thus far, Hamlet and Apple are my favorites. Hamlet’s name is extremely appropriate and reflects a long tradition of naming hamsters after puns (my next will be named Hammond-Cheese), and Apple is the cutest darn thing I’ve ever seen. I played Pocket Camp RAVENOUSLY until I got her to come to my camp. Then I deleted it because I got bored, but I deleted it knowing I successfully befriended one of the cutest virtual hamsters of all-time.
CUTENESS – 8/10
Extremely cute, but something about their face design doesn’t quite go the distance.
ROUNDNESS – 9/10
INTERACTIVITY – 9.5/10
They’re your neighbors! You can interact with them every day. And I try to, because I love them.
2) HAMTARO – Ham-Ham Heartbreak
Until now, all the hamster-featured games on this list have included hamsters in their games but not actually showcased hamsters. The Hamtaro games, however, are 100% hamster-filled baby. It’s great.
Here’s the thing. Most people may look at this extremely serious list as a big joke. I could see how they mistakenly believe this, many people are taken aback by my dedication to all things hamsters when first meeting me, however I am completely serious when I say Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak is one of my favorite games of all time.
Part of this deep love is due to nostalgia, yes, but to reduce my passion for this game to the musings of a hamster-lover wearing rose colored glasses means you’re missing out on a genuinely fun and relaxing GBA game. HamHam Heartbreak is a simple RPG, each level is has a unique but appealing design, and its story, though geared toward children, is interesting! It’s not going to offer anything challenging or life-changing, but Ham-Ham Heartbreak is a great game for anyone who’s a fan of Hamtaro or just wants to play a laid-back GBA game with an appealing design about cute hamsters.
CUTENESS – 10/10
It’s a game about hamsters and love! All the hamster designs are appealing to look at. Even Boss.
ROUNDNESS – 9/10
When you use “Tack-Q” Hamtaro rolls up into a ball! Very good.
INTERACTIVITY – 10/10
You Are The Hamsters.
1) ALL THE HAMSTERS – Part Time UFO
Part Time UFO is a phone game released by HAL Laboratories in 2017. It’s a game where you play as a cute little UFO and stack cute little things in cute little environments. It’s a very fun game. But this game isn’t on here because it’s a cute game, or even because it’s a fun game. No, Part Time UFO earned the #1 spot on this list because it has the best goddamn hamsters I’ve ever seen in a video game.
The game first caught my eye during one of the early levels. You have to stack a bunch of animals on this elephant, including an absolutely perfect-looking little ham-ham.
Look at that little guy. The roundness, the cuteness. It’s off the charts. It’s damn near perfect. However, I was left wanting. There’s only one ham there! It’s cute, but it left me longing for more. And then, it happened.
TEN HAMSTERS!! YOU STACK TEN HAMSTERS!!! And not just one type of hamster! They got orange-and-white Syrians, they got cream-colored Syrians, they even have a grey-and-white patterned one that seems to be a Winter White! It’s incredible. It’s the most perfect representation of hamsters I’ve ever laid eyes on. I was blown away.
And THEN! PART TIME UFO UPS THE ANTE AGAIN!
That guy’s got a damn hamster buddy under his hat!!!!!!! HE’S LIVING THE DREAM!!!
CUTENESS – 11/10
HAVE YOU SEEN THOSE HAMS!
ROUNDNESS – 10/10
Look at those little guys. They are the embodiment of the spiracle essence of hamsters.
INTERACTIVITY – 10/10
You can pick all of them up! In my mind, this counts as petting the hamsters so it automatically wins.
Hal Labs, I applaud you. You have created the most beautiful, most perfect, most true-to-life representation of hamsters in video games. The company already earned a solid place on this list considering they’re also the creators of the aforementioned Rick the Hamster, but they outdid themselves with the hamsters in Part Time UFO.
Well done, Hal Labs. Well done.
That's all I have for you today, folks. What do you think about my list? Are there any video game hamsters I missed? Any cute animals you think video games depict very well? Drop a comment below and let me know what you think! Until next time!
The Four Dark Devas of Destruction: San-D, Jum-P, Maga-Z and Cham-P!
Dangan Ronpa 2 introduced us to Gundham Tanaka and his four adorable syrian hamsters who are absolutely perfect in every way. This is in large part thanks to the wonderful care of Gundham, as he loves his hams fiercely and protects them with his life. All I gotta say is: Same, dude. Same. Gundham and I would totally be best friends.
Unfortunately, they weren't included on the list because even I, Giant Bomb's Resident Hamster Expert, am forgetful sometimes! Einstein was probably wrong like, at least once. I can be wrong too. Big shout out to user @seriuzbiznus for the suggestion! Thank you!!
Not a hamster per say........... but I'll allow it. I think they should get a cute hamster mascot. I think they'd sell a lot of games to the untapped hamster-lovers niche if they did. Who's a part of that niche, you're asking? Well me, of course. Maybe even you, if you've made it this far on the list! Thank you @goboard for the suggestion!