LifeisXbox’s Rolling Hamster review | Rolling Hamster, a game by Belgian indie developer studio Flip It, is the world’s first racing game that only uses one button. What?! I know, I was very curious about this particular new idea as well. Honestly, it does solve the issue of only having one or two controllers while wanting to play with more friends locally. But does it work properly? It is worth getting Rolling Hamster yourself? Let me share my experiences I had with this game with you guys!
We played Rolling Hamster for 3 hours on PC. This game is only available on PC.
What we liked!
- One button gameplay | The one button gameplay turned out to be very fun. The technique is fairly easy to get the hang off, and after a few races, you’ll know when to slow down and when to speed up. It’s your opponents that make everything more difficult. You can bust into each other, so you’ll end up upside down, or you might even be thrown off the race track. Respawning happens quite fast, luckily. Whoever finishes three rounds first, wins the race. You can race against up to three friends, or you play against bots. I ended up playing against bots mostly, and I honestly didn’t even mind because I still enjoyed myself a lot. I did try a few races with my boyfriend, and this was very fun as well. I’m sure Rolling Hamster is even more fun with three friends, but unfortunately, this pandemic thing going on prevented me from inviting more people at our little home. However, I will definitely play this again when friends come over in the future!
- Tracks | You can race on fifteen different track, divided into three categories. There are five grass track, five lava-ish tracks, and five tracks that are water/sea themed. The last one was my absolute favourite, since I’ve always been attracted to water and everything connected to it. All tracks have a fitting name, like a track that is shaped like the letter B is called ‘B’ and another one that is kinda shaped like a swimsuit got the name ‘Swimsuit’. The Steam page says more tracks will be added in the future, and damn, I’m really looking forward to what other themes Flip It has in store for us!
- Graphics | I’m a big fan of the artstyle in Rolling Hamster. As I mentioned above, there are different track themes. These all looked so very cute. The grass ones had little stones, trees and flowers on the side of the road, while the water ones had coral and seaweed. The little race cars for the hamsters are pretty basic, and can be recognized by their color (purple, blue, red, and yellow). Anyway, the overall artstyle is very bright and colorful, giving both you and your eyes a wonderful experience. Each pixel has been hand-tinted with all-natural ingredients to ensure the level of lush vibrance you’ve come to expect of modern video games.
- Sound | I’m being 100% honest when I tell you I had the soundtrack of the title menu stuck in my head quite often. Rolling Hamster provides one kick ass main soundtrack, damn! The music that plays throughout the racing itself is fun as well, but compared to the title menu song, it is quite forgettable. I think you’re so focused on trying to beat the others, that the sound fades a bit to the background, and that’s just fine. But that main soundtrack though! Will not get over that one.
- Highscores | Every track shows both global and friends’ highscores. I ended up in a few global top 10’s, which got me very excited, of course. Even if you can’t play with friends, the highscore feature manages to keep you engaged in the game because damn, do you want to be in every top 10 (and preferably top 5 or 1, but I’m not quite there yet).
- Camera | I wasn’t always the biggest fan of the camera work in Rolling Hamster. The tracks are quite short and compact, but still, when all four players were spread across the track, the camera had to zoom out quite a bit. This sometimes made it harder for me to really control my hamster. However, I understand there had to be made a tradeoff between either a split screen and a deeper focus, or one screen with less focus, so that’s why the camera is in the somewhere between section. I just want you to remember it can be a bit difficult to focus on your little hamster if it is on the other side of the track and it appears to be rather small.
What we disliked
- Room for improvement | Rolling Hamster is a very fun game so far, but I do feel like little improvements could benefit the game even more. For example, right now, every race is 3 tracks. You cannot adjust this manually, and I do feel that choosing the amount of rounds yourself could provide some extra fun. The simplest tracks were over really quickly after only 3 rounds, you know. I do realize that this would mean the current highscore system wouldn’t work if this feature was introduced, but maybe the choice between 3 to 6 rounds could divide the highscores as well. I also missed a ‘pick random track’ feature, which of course, isn’t necessary, but definitely a fun addition to any game! Lastly, there seemed to be a problem with scrolling through the highscores. I don’t know if this was some kind of bug, but scrolling through felt very uneasy.
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Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂