Copyright/Publisher: CRL Group, Program By: Gary Thomlinson, Conversion By:
Wise Owl Software,
Release Year: 1987, Genre: Fighting Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
In the twilight days of the beat'em up, CRL have released a less serious combat game
in the shape of Ninja Hamster. The player controls a small, but perfectly trained
rodent as he battles against his mortal enemies, the Sinister Rat and his band
The action is portrayed in the familiar beat'em up style, with two beastly opponents
facing eacg other across a static screen. Each animal has an energy meter, with is
depleted every time a hit is sustained. When this reaches zero, the combatant is
knocked down, and a bite is taken out of his life-giving 'Great Apple'.
Once the seventh segment of the opposition's apple disappears, the hamster
advances to the next opponent. If the hamster's apple is removed, the game ends.
The hamster has an repertoire of moves accessed by combinations of joystick positions
and button presses. The moves available include a flying kick, mid-kick, ground sweep,
punch, high kick, jump and duck.
Energy is slowly regained all the time, so to successfully
knock down an opponent, blows must be struck fairly regularly.
A two player options is provided, where the second player takes control of the
I can't understand CRL releasing this game: there are so many beat'em ups available
- many of an extremely high quality - that this mediocre effort simply disappears
into the swirling morass without trace.
The two characters are transparent hires
monochrome sprites which clash badly when in close contact: you can hardly tell
what moves each one is making in the writhing black mass of pixels.
single redeeming feature is the soundtrack, which is a punchy little oriental
number and probably the best track CRL have used for ages. Still, I can't recommend the game.
CRL have tried to inject a little novelty into the fighting genre, but have failed
to disguise what is basically a tired old beat'em up. Ninja Hamster could have
been fun, but unfortunately its potential hasn't been realised.
Moves are limited, and since they have to be used repeatedly to defeat the
opposition, it doesn't take long for the gameplay to become tedious.
graphics are generally poor, with dull monochromatic sprites battling over a
very bland backdrop - in fact the only really good thing is the surprisingly
jolly oriental soundtrack. Beat'em up fans might find some initial fun, but it
doesn't take long for interest to fade.
Although the beat'em up boom is considered well past its prime, CRL have still
released this spoof version with hopes of capturing a small area of the market
In essence, this is a great idea, and from the packaging, you
might think it's a bit of a laugh. Unfortunately, the actual game is a serious,
hard slog, with little to laugh about other than the look of some of the
On the technical side, the game is definitely mediocre, with some
monochrome sprites mixing messily when overlapping, and little in the way of
sound other than the title music. Fighting is fairly routine, and doesn't have
enough variation in moves to promote lengthy combat.