If there’s one thing you can say about our house it’s that we have enough things running around. Children, cats, a dog. We have an abundance of tiny feet and legs hurrying about, usually convening in the parental bedroom in the wee hours leaving me trying to find a corner to curl up on. One thing we don’t currently have though is a hamster, so imagine my joy when our copy of Hamster Race popped through the door. “Finally!”, I thought. “The hamster experience we’ve always dreamed of!”
The truth of course is that we actually DID have a hamster until very recently. It was absolutely not my idea but the wife felt that the rest of the animals were just not enough and that the children really needed a cute, furry animal of approximately hamster size. We harboured the hamster, Joey, for about a year. During that year Joey managed to chew through her first cage, escape into the clutches of the cat who took her all the way outside in her mouth where we finally retrieved her from next door’s garden. Despite a good chew, she lived and was soon back to full strength.
After that we bought her a new, stronger cage. Weeks later we checked in on her to discover she had absconded through a hole carved in the back like Andy Dufresne. I even checked to see if there was a tiny Rita Hayworth poster. We would find her living in the cupboard below, happily chewing her way through her bodyweight in chipboard.
In her third and final cage, a luxurious affair with tubes and everything, we would spend weeks moving her from room to room but there was nowhere that Quinn (a cat) wouldn’t pursue her, trying her hardest to knock the cage off onto the floor. During this period Joey actually went into hibernation. We thought she had died but managed to coax her back to full strength with a lot of TLC. After Quinn finally succeeded in knocking the rotastak mansion to the floor, Tammy (Mrs DadGeek) took the executive decision to rehome Joey with nice people who I hope had some sort of hamster Fort Knox for her to live in.
So, as you can see, we’ve been dying to get back on the hamster situation for a while now.
Hamster Race is a playful, action-packed boardgame that’s low on complicated rules and big on fun. Simply move your hamster forward along the path collecting pieces of cheese (do hamsters eat cheese?) or possibly losing them (seriously, I don’t think they eat cheese) until eventually finding your way (they eat hamster food) to the ramp that leads onto the spinning bowl of chaos! Take all the cheeses that you’ve amassed and try to hang on as the bowl spins you outward toward the edge! The winner is the hamster that can be the last-ham-standing and gets to keep their cheese, the downside is that the more cheese you have, the more likely you are to be spun out of the running!
It’s a great, simple game of moving forward and collecting (or losing) cheese with an exciting spinning finish at the end. There’s enough random goings on along the way to really get everyone excited as you risk reaching the whirly endgame without enough cheese or bunnyhop your rivals to claim the last spot on the seesaw.
The kids all loved Hamster Race. It was simple enough to hold the younger kids’ attention but crazy enough to keep the eldest amused. It’s simple to assemble and to pack away when you’re done but make sure you have some batteries to hand as you’ll need those for the spinning bowl of chaos.
Hamster Race is available from Amazon.
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