More than 200 levels! Loads of enemies! More than 70 quests! More than 350 items to collect! A lof incredible secrets! — Disclaimer from the website
Remember the time arcades were actually existent and all of the machines ended making you use up all of your allowance as you played those hardcore games they had to offer?The Caverns of Hammerfest is a Flash game made by the French game developers of Motion-Twin in February 2006, and is the masterpiece homage to the good old platformers that made you yell Big No-s at the loss of your character's last life. Particularly inspired by gems like Bubble Bobble and Snow Bros, the insane difficulty it has to offer is notable (while also being very fair), but its real charm are the countless collectible items and the nice graphics you come across in your quest.In it, you're a snowman named Igor brought to life when a sorcerer steals your carrot nose, who also happened to kidnap and enslave all the sentient fruits of the orchards of Hammerfest for no apparent reason. Now, Igor must venture to his subterranean hideout and go through 100+ levels without dying (did we mention there areno save points?) in order to recover his honor and free his fruity friends from the clutches of Tuber the evil sorcerer.Okay, this pretty much sums it.With the ability to throw bombs that freeze your enemies, to progress you have to clear the levels out of the bewitched fruits by sending them to the bottom of the level with them. It's not as easy as it sounds, unfortunately, as you'll see in latter levels. To help you on your way, though, there are the aforementioned 300+ items, most of which have twisted effects of all sorts that go from dandelions that make you flutter to trophies that summon a three-eyed-god to make your enemies dizzy. And these are among the weakest.The game can be found here. There is a downside, though: you can only play once per day (you can buy more games if you're impatient). This marketing strategy may seem like a problem at the start, when your runs don't go past level 10 and they managed to get you addicted already, but once you're skilled enough and your plays start to, literally, take more than 1 hour, it won't bother you much anymore.Note that there aren't even many hammers in the game, as it is rather named after Hammerfest, one of the coldest and nothernmost cities of the world.
Ambiguous Gender: Not gender per se, actually, but there have been a lot of discussion whether the red fruits are apples or tomatoes. Even the dev team acknowledges it. Though if one thinks closely, he might remember that enemies are all fruits, while all vegetables (in the usual sense, not the botanical one) are items. Also, there is actually a tomato item.
Goomba Stomp: It is an ability that can be achieved for one stage if you get a Koopa shell item.
Gotta Catch Them All: The items, which are considered by most what really makes the game addicting. However, nobody still unlocked all of them.
Guide Dang It: Okay, if you want big scores, you must check walkthroughs about the orders in which you must kill the fruits in order to get the big crystal. It's nigh impossible to figure them out by yourself, mainly when there more than one of the same fruit.
There's Cadomax, which is in French, and Zaxarinka. The latter being made by the best player of the English version himself.
100% Completion: No one ever accomplished such feat as of yet. But, item unblocking aside, a few hardcore players have beaten Hell in Nightmare Mode and got the Red Bomb, the holy grail of Hammerfestians.
Idle Animation: Igor blows a bubble out of a bubblegum after a while or pulls a silly dance.
Joke Item: The chocolate mousse, which not only looks like poop (it is poop in the French version) and is only worth 1 point, it's also a coefficient 5 item. It means it's one of the rarest items in the game, which have only a 0.14% chance of appearing in every level.
New Game Plus: Okay, aside from the fact that every time you play it it's a new game and you're ever slightly more experienced, it's how quests work. Also, once you beat the final boss, you get the even harder Nightmare Mode.
Nintendo Hard: It takes often more than one whole month to hone enough your skills only to be able to get to the final boss and beat it. We say 'only' because you don't know how merciless Hell can be. It took 5 months to some tropers to beat the game.
Lost Forever: If you don't pick up the items on a level before going to the next, they're lost. Same thing happen when you pick up certain items, like the pearls. These items can make things specially frustrating if it's a coefficient 4 and upwards item that you just lost.