Hamsterball has a well-developed style of its own, with unique colors and thematic elements that distinguish each level. You can play its five stages at three difficulty levels: Pipsqueak, Normal, and Frenzied. With no opponents or tricky passages, the first stage lets you get a feel for controlling the rodent, but the difficulty soon picks up. Roaming eight balls, snapping mousetraps, and smashing hammers are just a few of the obstacles to avoid. Each stage has a time limit, and any leftover seconds carry over to the next level, but once the timer hits zero you're one dead hamster. Although controlling the character with the keyboard is slightly difficult, a game controller makes the action more manageable. Also, you can't manipulate the 3D environments, so sometimes you won't be able to see your little guy completely. Expert navigators might zip through the first five levels, but most folks will have a grand time running that poor hamster like crazy.