Halloween Racer (Visual Impact/Microids, 1999)
This was a European exclusive, oddly. Microids is a French publisher, but considering the game already had an English translation and was celebrating a major US holiday, you'd think they'd have released it in NA. At any rate, it's a lot like some of the F-1 games we saw earlier, but with Halloween characters instead of cars.
Hamster Club: Awasete Chuu (Nekogumi/Jorudan, 2000)
The first of 9 hamster games on the list today is also the most unique. It's a match 3 game that saved on graphics by making three of the four suits literally just the numbers one to three. Cool. As a puzzle game it seems fine, but why would you ever play this over better known games? If you considered it, this may be a sign of a dangerous condition called Hamsteritis.
Hamster Club: Oshiema Chuu (Nekogumi/Jorudan, 2000)
A quiz game with some really boring minigames you can play if you get bored of the quiz. Finishing levels of the quiz will unlock more bad minigames. This brings us to the second sign of Hamsteritis: If you think "which of these is a hamster toy?" is an interesting question when one of the options is "hamster ball", you may have Hamsteritis.
Hamster Club (Nekogumi/Jorudan, 1999)
The first of many today that are basically Tamagotchi. You pick a hamster from three at the store and the bring it home to do Tamagotchi things. Because these games were so popular at the time, modern medicine does not consider owning this game to be a symptom of Hamsteritis.
Hamster Club 2 (Nekogumi/Jorudan, 2000)
There was a year between these two releases, but they can't possibly have been working on it the whole time. It's the exact same game with a fourth hamster to choose from at the beginning and some different backgrounds for the activities. If you owned both of these, you may be at elevated risk of Hamsteritis. Please contact the law firms of Johnson, Johnsonson, and Johnsonsondotter if you believe Hamster Club 2 exposed you to this risk.
Hamster Monogatari GB + Magi Ham Mahou no Shoujo (Culture Brain, 2002)
Against all odds, this is not connected to the other 8 hamster games. This is actually two, but I think they're just different perspectives on the same thing. I sure didn't want to be exposed to any more hamsters than I had to be today, so I picked Magi Ham, and immediately learned that I drew the world's shortest stick and had to be the magical girl with a talking hamster. From there it's just an adventure game where your options are mostly "look" and "think."
Hamster Paradise (Shimada Kikaku/Atlus, 1999)
Chronologically first of all the hamster games. This is where it all began. If only we'd known the signs of Hamsteritis at the time, we could've stopped it here instead of getting six identical hamster Tamagotchis. But really, the blame lies with Atlus for publishing the same game four times in two years. At least Jorudan made those werid spinoffs.
Hamster Paradise 2 (Digital Kids/Atlus, 2000)
The year of development was presumably used to improve the graphics to the point that they had to drop GB compatibility. I say that because the only other difference seems to be that the action buttons at the top are gone. By now, I'm sure you know that releasing a smaller sequel is a major sign of Hamsteritis.
Hamster Paradise 3 (Digital Kids/Atlus, 2000)
This one only had 9 months of development time, so it's not too surprising that it's the same game again with the addition of an affection meter. That meter is correctly showing a value of zero, because no one needs this many hamsters. Oddly, this game opens with the assistant of the professor who was in the first two, and the professor is nowhere to be found.
Hamster Paradise 4 (Digital Kids/Atlus, 2001)
But not to worry, the professor has merely escaped to this game. It exchanged the affection meter for a second hamster, although it's not clear what the significance of having two hamsters is when they're made to live in different fancy cages. Otherwise, shockingly, it's the same game again.
Running list of games to come back to:
Golf Ou: The King of Golf