Hamsters, eh? Here’s a Japan-only Nintendo 64 simulation title from 2001 in which, yes, you look after hamsters. Huzzah!
A Short History of Hamster Monogatari 64
So, yes, this is basically a fully fledged Tamagotchi game for the Nintendo 64. Just with hamsters in the place of the digital blob thing.
From the Japanese developer Culture Brain, Hamster Monogatari 64 (ハムスター物語 64, which translated to English as Hamster Story 64) is a hamster simulation.
In the game, you raise and take care of adorable pet hamsters.
As it was only released in Japan, this makes it one of the most obscure N64 games available to retro gamers. Perhaps even beyond the likes of even Wonder Project J2.
As with most titles like this, the decisions you make as a player will affect the course of your hamster ownership.
If you give the hamsters lots of attention, for example, that’ll determine what your hamster becomes.
As in, it’ll either be a loveable fuzzball or a total savage, biting maniac.
We gave Hamster Monogatari 64 a whirl on an N64 emulator and, yep, found it pretty impossible to play due to the Japanese language barrier.
It’s kind of like Pokémon, but in the world you’re in everyone collects and raises hamsters. Sounds great, right?
As your hamsters grow up and evolve, they gain new abilities that let’s you compete in hamster competitions. This includes:
- Hamster racing
- Beauty pageants
With the prize money you earn, you can spend more on your hamsters’ cages and providing them with plush living standards.
When you cheer your hamster up, they perform a little shout and jig of joy.
Just to note from our pet hamster guide, these little monsters don’t ever do anything such as squeak for joy and celebrate. They’re more interested in gathering pumpkin seeds.
Away from that, one of the game’s main activities is to clean your the hamster cages regularly.
And that’s a criticism we found against the cutesy Hamster Monogatari 64. It’s a tad repetitious in what you get up to.
It’s a very cute game, fitting neatly into Japan’s kawaii culture (as you can see with Mondo Mascots).
But asides from the initial “Daaawww!” factor the gameplay doesn’t have much longevity.
Instead, the game sells itself on the cute factor. Which is kind of an okay idea, but it’s much more fun to own a hamster.
The Fate of the Hamster Monogatari Series
Culture Brain launched the title at the end of the N64’s life, and we think it also had a run on the PlayStation, making a minor hit.
We believe eight games emerged from the series in total, none of which appear to have ever made it out of Japan.
The last appears to have been from 2004 on the Game Boy Advance. It was called Fantasy Puzzle Hamster Monogatari Mahou no Meikyuu.
Whilst research this series, we also came across a bunch of other hamster-based games that are clearly Japanese only.
This includes Hamster Paradise Advanchu and Kisekae Hamster.
We must say, this has opened up a whole new world of knowledge! We never knew these things existed! And we may provide reviews on them soon.
Rest assured, you can also just buy a real hamster from your local pet store.