Hamtaro Royale

Final project for an undergraduate “Media Device Architectures” course focused on programming a game in Visual C++ for the Game Boy Advance. The goals of the class in general were to understand the obstacles associated with coding for a specific platform, such as limitations of memory, animating from sprite sheets, implementing tileable backgrounds, simulating artificial intelligence, and the concept of parallax scrolling.

Hamtaro Royale is an amalgamation of the Koushun Takami novel “Battle Royale” and Ritsuko Kawai’s manga “Hamtaro.” The gameplay is similar to Battle Royale, in that the user (playing as the character Hamtaro) navigates the island looking to kill the other hamsters before the time runs out. In regular intervals, parts of the island black out (and immediately eliminate those in that quadrant), with an indication on the screen as to which ones are “dead zones.” The user is equipped with a map to reference, and is randomly given a weapon of a certain strength. If another character within a certain distance has a superior weapon, they will chase you, and will run away if theirs is inferior.

The game structure was chosen for the challenge of complexity rather than the challenge of originality. The characters themselves were chosen as juxtaposition to the murderous nature of the game– the characters squeak instead of scream when attacking each other, which hopefully encourages users to play multiple rounds as opposed to making them feel squeamish or uneasy. The music in the background is Detektivbyrån’s “Neonland,” which was also specifically selected for the comedic effect.

I later implemented the same game concept with cats, only I upgraded a variety of gameplay attributes to mimic the real storyline. The cats were able to pick up a certain number of discarded weaponry, hold a specific weapon (to run quicker or feign defenselessness), switch weapons, check the death toll, as well as receive warnings for upcoming dead zones. However, deprecation of that platform led to a defunct game, but it is on my to-do list to code again for the fun of it.

Click here for a download link for Hamtaro Royale. A GBA emulator (such as Visual Boy Advance) is necessary to open the file.