Now….stay with me here.
Of course there are many real life simulation strategy games out there…plenty of games where you can manage a football team, control a city….even control a life…..but have you ever wanted to manage a rock group? Well now you can, ladies and gentlemen, here is Noobs game review of “Rockstar ate my hamster” on the Amiga
Back in 1988 a game designer “Colin Jones” created Rockstar ate my hamster, the name was inspired by the 1986 sun headline “Freddie Starr ate my Hamster”, the game was released on the Codemasters Label on such formats as the Amstrad cpc, zx spectrum commodore 64 the Atari and this version, the Amiga.
The Plot (As it is) is that Cecil Pitt and his sidekick Clive want to get out of the circus business and they use the £50,000 inheritance Clive has got to kick-start their music manager business. The game is menu driven, and you control the day to day goings on as a rock star manager. You start by picking your group, upto 4 stars can make up your supergroup. All the rock stars are rip offs of real life stars of the time (This is 1988 remember) with names such as “Bill Collins”, “Elvin Dwight” and “Scratch n Sniffa”. All have a weekly wage, and this needs to be taken into account when creating your group as if you go bankrupt…its game over.
After naming your group, you choose what equipment to arm your stars with, brand new, second hand or dodgy. Whatever you pick, a little later down the line they either get stolen or confiscated so you have to re-buy anyway.
Then its into your man menu, you can send your group practising….which they need to do to get better. The game sounds actually get better as you practice more, and this helps with the gigs as the crowd go away happier if the band can actually play….You can go on tour, this is the games money making scheme. You choose the venues, the price per ticket, and how many days…and off you go. Then Clive will give you a run down how many tickets you sold, and a sound bite plays to let you know how happy the crowd is. Its better to start off low price and low venues, otherwise it will cost you more to put on the tour than you make back. Eventually you will be playing packed out stadiums for £20 a ticket..
During these tours, your rock stars will give you ideas to make the gig better. You can agree (If you have the money) or you can decline…..in Cecils own way, but this usually ends up with the rock-star giving you an ultimatum and quitting the band if these are not met.
You can throw a publicity stunt. There is high risk attached to this, as if it goes right, then your ticket sales increase, but if worse case happens, one of your rock stars could die….remember you can only start with 4 and if they all leave or die….its game over. Some of the papers headlines caused complaints to WH Smith, and ended up with the game being pulled from their shelves.
Giving Gifts to your stars keeps them sweet, and stops them from making demands later in the game.
After a month or so, you are offered a recording deal, after accepting you enter the recording studio and record your album. A randomly generated song is played and you can name the song, then you name your album. Note here, if you have too much money when you record, you get held to ransom to recover the master tapes.
Then this is when you can start releasing your masterpieces. You choose your single to release, (Only one at a time in the charts im afraid, were not Ed Sheeran here.. You can choose t record a music video and pick your director, venue and theme. Every choice affects the chance it has of becoming a smash hit.
You can release your album (Named whatever you want) and now it’s a case of repeating gigging and promotions until Sunday night and the charts hit….
You are given a rundown of the top 10 of the charts, and hopefully your band will feature somewhere. If your single does well, then your album will chart. Your album only ever moves up or down one place at a time. If your single is 8 or above, your album with climb, any lower and it will drop. The platinum albums are gained by Album sales, so don’t let it drop out the top 10 as it takes some weeks to re-enter. So strategy is involved when deciding on releasing your next smash hit. All the other acts are parodies of chart acts of the time, and some of them are quite funny. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hear “Death leppar`s “ next single…
There are other aspects that affect record and gig sales, you will from time to time be offered charity gigs, this is a game of chance to if you accept or not, if it’s a legit charity, well done, if not….bad publicity will follow and gig revenue and sales will take a dip. You are offered sponsorship, and the money is tempting, however later on in the game these always end up with the sponsor being involved in some controversy, again this affects your sales. You find out that a organisation in Korea is bootlegging your music, and whatever choice you make will cost you money, so just have fun.
Then it’s a case of rinse and repeating, trying to keep your album in the charts long enough to gain the 4 platinum disks to win the game. Its not easy, the most ive done is 2, and ive played this game a lot.
The graphics are good enough, nothing much happening, and the music is well put together, but you don’t play these kind of game for either of those things, its funny entertaining and will keep you entertained for a long time
Rockstar Ate My Hamster is a cult classic, its one of those games you have either never heard of, or played it to death. I was in the latter category. Ever since I seen it reviewed in Amstrad Action I saved up my pocket money and spent the £8.99 on a copy in Boots……..happy days.
So, there you have it, a great its one of myfavourates I hope its one of yours, so from Noob game reviews, its thankyou and goodnight……
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