Chillingo's hamster doesn't know the meaning of fear.
Hamsters have not fared so well in video games. Hedgehogs? Sure. Bandicoots? Absolutely, but those furry little hamsters cannot break through.
At least that's what we thought before Hank Hazard came into our lives. Chillingo's physics based game stars a death defying and adorable hamster that puts his body on the line for big thrills. Play wise, we've seen it all before, but that doesn't mean we resisted the hero's charm.
The entire experience involves guiding Hank (encased inside a hamster ball) from the beginning of a level to the end, gathering stars along the way. Success involves using the environment and set pieces to your advantage. In one stage, you pop blocks of ice to drop weights onto a piece of wood that doubles as a seesaw, propelling Hank through the air. Later, you'll launch Hazard with spring-loaded boxing gloves and guide him off ramps.
Meanwhile, you receive a Nuts Bonus for completing different objectives. These include popping eight platforms before Hank reaches the exit, flying above 350 meters and finishing a board within eight seconds. You don't have to achieve these tasks to proceed. They're more of an added incentive to try harder.
What's especially cool about this game, aside from the various puzzles, is both Crystal and Game Center support, which we hope takes hold in future Chillingo games. Good to see the publisher branching out from its exclusive service.
The only issue comes from a lack of iPad support. There's no Hank Hazard HD. The game works just fine blown up 2X, but we'd prefer to see Hank in all his high-def glory.
Whether or not this hamster succeeds where others have failed remains to be seen, but we know this much: Hank Hazard is one of Chillingo's coolest games, and you'll have a blast experimenting with different objects, grabbing all the stars and climbing the online leaderboards. To infinity, and beyond.
Review code provided by Chillingo
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 3.2 or later.
What's Hot: Over 90 different levels, cute (and furry) hero, Game Center/Crystal support, bonus objectives.
What's Not: No HD version.