Who said motion controls are dead? Mobile title Hamsterdam is coming to the Nintendo Switch and it is, in fact, a title with motion controls. I know it is hard to imagine in 2018, but last weekend I spent time on the EGLX show floor waggling Joy-Con back and forth in both my hands.
The premise is simple: You play as a kung fu hamster, taking down other furry enemies throughout the streets of Hamsterdam (a city very similar in design to the real-life Amsterdam). You wag the right Joy-Con to unleash attacks on the enemies. The left Joy-Con, meanwhile, is used to counter incoming enemy attacks. There is also a special move that charges up and can KO an enemy in one move. Finally, there are some quick-time sequences where you must move both Joy-Con in the same direction at the same time. With just a few unique controls, the level I played at EGLX was surprisingly simple.
However, the simple nature of Hamsterdam did not make it immediately boring, at least not for the short time I got to play the title. There was a relaxing rhythm to the game. Waggling the Joy-Con, though simple, was accompanied by pretty satisfying battle animations. More importantly, the counter and special attacks kept the game interesting. No, there wasn’t much depth to the game, but its cuteness and rhythm did not grow boring as soon as I thought it would.
Unfortunately, my demo was only a few minutes. There is no guarantee that simple waggle controls won’t grow old after an hour or two. The game’s Kickstarter makes it seem like there will be a lot of level variety, but there is no evidence that the gameplay will be anything deeper than simple waggle mechanics. Until we see the full game for review, it is hard to recommend getting excited for Hamsterdam. The game is quite cute, but ultimately the gameplay has to be the selling point. It is unclear yet how much of a selling point is here.
Hamsterdam is planned for release next year on Switch and mobile platforms. We will keep you updated as we learn more on the title.