I’ve generally found that if you are going to do silly, you might as well go all out. What’s the point of dressing up as a pirate if you’re only going to go through the day saying your same old innocuous pleasantries in your predictable Midwestern mumble? Sometimes you just have to go for the gusto.
Gamewright goes for the gusto with their hamster sumo wrestling game Sumo Ham Slam. That’s right, sumo hamsters. And if the thought of crashing your hamster into your opponent’s hamster until one of you falls over or out of the ring doesn’t bring a smile to your face then remember this: at the start of the match, all players must chant SUMO HAM SLAM!! And there are magnets. And your feed your hamsters to make them heavier.
Still no smile? Check the flesh around your mouth for facial paralysis. Go watch some Monty Python.
The game comes with a plastic wrestling ring, four hollow plastic hamsters, 40 “food pellet” chips, a die, and two magnetic wands. The wands slide under the surface of the wrestling ring and control the movement of your hamster. The die tells you what to do on your turn: Eat, Train, or Slam! You earn plastic pellets by eating and training (thus making your hamster heavier) and you earn victory points by wrestling when you roll a Slam! The first player to earn five victory points is the winner. To augment the verisimilitude of the sumo-like encounter, the manufacturer recommends substituting pennies or nickels for the lighter weight plastic pellets, thereby further adding to the gravity and humorously hefty hamsterness of it all.
Once all the food pellets (or coins) are consumed, the game becomes a constant series of sumo matches. Which is just as well because the real joy of the game comes from the silly, but absolutely necessary ritual of chanting SUMO HAM SLAM!! before each bout. And sumo wrestling hamsters are nothing without their rituals.
Well, maybe they are Major Fun.
Sumo Ham Slam was designed by Mary Jo Reutter with art by Dean MacAdam. © 2010 by Gamewright.
William Bain, Games Taster