Hamster Playground Preview – Make your hamster a home

Hamster Playground Header

Do you love hamsters? Do you have fond memories of Tamagotchi? Do you like cute stuff, like Tamagotchi with hamsters in them? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, We Dig Games has its eyes on you – beady little hamster eyes.

Hamster Playground both is and isn’t what it sounds like. At face-level, and at its most basic, it is a hamster-hording simulator. You get a bunch of furry little devils and you feed them, keep them watered and rested, and basically do everything else you would do with a Tamagochi — but if the Tamagotchi had a lush, lovingly rendered screen full of wiggling little hamsters.

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This game, for its very simple premise, looks absolutely fantastic and very polished. Visually, it’s the Nintendogs of hamsters.

Hamster Playground Tamagotchi

We had hamsters growing up and, I’m not gonna lie, they were the least endearing of the pets we had. They smelt awful and you were forever terrified of sitting on the couch and accidentally squishing one because my sister was not to be trusted.

However, even I admit that this game is insanely cute. When the loading screen lit up with what can only be described as POV water bowl, with five fat furry faces beaming down at me, I couldn’t help but grin back at the screen. It is a very charming game.

But these hamsters aren’t like the idle lumps of fur that my sister called pets — not at all.

These hamsters rock, and occasionally roll when they race on skateboards. More on that in a sec.

Like all good Tamagochis, they perform best when they are beating your friends. So, how do we do that? We get on the hamster wheel and get training. You can raise the attributes of your furry devils to make them better at the ensuing mini-games — getting through a carefully crafted maze and skateboard racing. Higher intelligence will help them navigate faster or find shortcuts; higher strength allows them to knock over their obstacles to complete courses faster.

While the mini-games are entirely on AI-driven rails, there is the added gameplay element of button mashing and timing your clicks just right to beat your enemy hamster. This is particularly vital in skateboard racing.

Hamster Playground Race

Sweet, sweet victory, comes in the form of sunflower seeds and currency with which to improve your hamster abode, from building better equipment to decorating the walls and even your hamsters.

Because yes, there are hats. And I very quickly got weirdly attached to who I dubbed Hamster Potter with his little wizard hat. I’m not sure it’s canon, but I would definitely sort him into Hufflepuff.

You can download the demo of Hamster Playground on Steam now, with a full release expected this autumn for PC and consoles. Up to four more minigames are expected at launch, so if this sounds like your cup of tea (or weird sippy water bottle), give it a go. The devs tell me that it is a kids game, but it’s testing pretty well with adults too — particularly in Thailand, I’m told.

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