What is it?

Here's the setup: You play as an adorable hamster. After a beachside picnic goes wrong, your hamster girlfriend is kidnapped by a vicious eagle. As anybody else would do, you strap some leaves to your back and use them as helicopter blades, taking to the skies in hopes of getting her back. What ensues is a Cave-style side scrolling shooter, albeit one that's much cuter than the stuff Cave usually bothers with.

Who made it?

Flying Hamster was made by Game Atelier, an independent developer who had previously released the game (their only release so far) on Sony's PlayStation Network.

What works?

Flying Hamster is a great looking game, and the colourful art style and numerous weapons (which are usually fruit-themed) give it buckets of charm. The drag-based control scheme works really well, despite the fact that there are a couple of virtual buttons that you'll have to manage if you want to launch charged shots.

Flying Hamster

What doesn't work?

This is a game with relatively few levels, but the fact that there is absolutely no save game system or continue options is still pretty egregious. The game only gives you five lives, so it's extremely difficult to make it to the end of the game in one playthrough. It's weird that such a small oversight could be so detrimental to the overall value of a game, but Flying Hamster would be much easier to recommend if this issue was fixed with a patch.

Another gripe: it's apparently possible to change the control scheme, but I was completely unable to figure out how to make that happen. I tapped, did finger swipes and even shook my device violently (that last option was more out of anger than anything), but to no avail. I'm assuming it's a bug, and if so, it's a pretty annoying one.

What's the estimated shelf life?

The biggest problem with Flying Hamster is the inability to keep playing where you left off, and having to replay the first level over and over every time you run out of lives can get old fast.

OUR VERDICT

At its discounted price of £1.79, Flying Hamster is a fairly priced game with a few major problems that need to be fixed before it can be objectively recommended over all of the other great shooters on the App Store. I'd hold off on buying for now in hopes that the game gets an update that addresses some of its more glaring issues.