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Hamsterdam logo


The Best Dam Game Around




Hamsterdam is a tower defense game for the whole family. The water is rising and the only things standing between the sea and your town are a dam and a handful of brave hamsters. Place your hamsters on your dam and roll dice to see where the floods will strike. If you have a hamster there to protect your dam, they become part of your reinforcements. If the flood strikes an unprotected part of your dam, the flood waters seep through. Keep your town the driest and you win.






Set the flood tokens near the middle of the playing area. This is the Reservoir. Find one Twinster card in the special hamster deck and set it aside. Shuffle the special hamster cards.

Give each player 11 dam cards, one of each numbered 2 through 12. Each player must choose two of their dam cards to pass, then pass one to the left and one to the right. Pass both cards to the other player in a 2-player game. Once you collect the cards from your neighbors, arrange your dam cards in a line in front of you in any order.

Each dam card will have between zero and three dots on it. Collect one hamster per orange dot placing them off to the side to form your reinforcement pile.

Collect two special hamster cards per blue dot on your dam cards and choose half of them to keep. Add the chosen special hamsters to your reinforcement pile. Remove the special hamsters you don’t choose to keep from the game.

Roll to see who goes first. The player with the highest roll takes the round tracker card, places a flood token on the ‘1’ and rolls first each round.


Your hamsters are your defense against the flood. Deploy the hamsters from your reinforcement pile in stacks on your dam cards. Hamsters do not need to be at every position on the dam. Place special hamsters on top of their stack to more easily reference their abilities.


Each player’s turn consists of the following actions:

Roll the Dice

Roll the dice. Special hamster effects may be applied to the roll. This will result in a value between 2 and 12 which all players must check for. Some players may have multiple copies or no copies of the rolled value. Re-roll the dice if no dam has the value.

Start and Resolve the Flood

A flood starts at every location matching the value rolled for the active player’s turn. Players resolve the flood in the following ways:

Resolve Dam Breaches

Your dam is breached as soon as three flood tokens pass through your dam into your town’s flood pile.

To resolve a dam breach:

  • Flip over your left-most or right-most un-flipped dam card to resolve a dam breach.

  • Move a flood token to your town’s flood pile if it is on the dam card you flip.

  • If there are hamsters on the card you flip, move them to the adjacent un-flipped dam card. If there is a flood token on the adjacent card, remove the flood token by removing a hamster from the game and moving the flood token from the dam card to the reservoir.

Your dam will breach again when a fifth flood token passes through your dam and then again for every flood token passing through after that. You no longer need to defend a dam card that has been flipped in a breach.


Once each player has had a turn (two turns in a 2-player game), each player may move one hamster left or right one position on their dam. That move can be used to reinforce other parts of the dam or remove a flood token


Players with special hamster abilities that involve skipping their movement phase will get to use those abilities in turn order after all players have finished their movement phase.

After everybody has completed their movement phase, the first player advances the turn tracker marker to the next higher number and starts their next turn unless it’s the end of the round.

Removing Flood Tokens

A player can use a hamster to remove a flood token on their dam by being moved to a dam card with a flood token during the Movement Phase or placed there during the Redeployment Phase. The hamster or special hamster that removes the flood token is removed from the game. The removed flood token is placed back in the Reservoir.

Redeployment Phase

The redeployment phase occurs at the end of each round after each player has had a certain number of turns based on the player count:

                         2 player – 6 turns

                         3 player – 4 turns

                         4 player – 3 turns

All hamsters on your dam must remain where they are. Place hamsters from your reinforcement pile on your dam in a similar fashion to the starting game setup. Hamsters may not be played onto a dam card with a flood token, but you may remove a hamster from the game to remove a flood token from your dam as described in Removing Flood Tokens. This may be done multiple times during this phase.


The person with the fewest combined flood tokens in their town’s flood pile and on their dam wins the game. In the event of a tie, the player with more remaining hamsters and special hamsters on their dam and in their reinforcements pile wins.





Check out the full review here:



Chris Romansky, of Sporktopia Games, is the designer of Hamsterdam and a civil engineer by trade bringing mass transit to the world. He is a game player as well as a game designer and also enjoys traveling the U.S. with his wife and son. Check out the rest of the Sporktopia Games lineup at


Alisha Volkman is the artist for Hamsterdam and a night owl. She loves making art as much as she loves gaming. She seeks inspiration from life and from family. When she is not drawing or gaming, she is taking care of her exotic reptiles. @AlishaVolkman


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Average Rating 3 reviews
Publish Date July 28, 2011
Edition Second
Department Games
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Why buy this?

  • Family-friendly tower defense
  • Roll with statistics or go with your gut
  • 18 unique special hamsters


  • This game contains a premium upgrade called UV Coating that makes the printed components more durable.


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Ratings and Reviews

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Own It Played It Fun Priced Well High Replay Value Well Written Rules Nice Artwork


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