Gaming's Other Great Rodents

Hackers have cracked the Nintendo Switch all the way open, Bethesda sues the Westworld game developers, and Overwatch gets infested with rodents—in a good way! All these topics and more on this episode of Kotaku XP, our weekly video about hot game stuff.

When preparing the show this week, I knew I wanted to end on the Overwatch new hero reveal, because Hammond is a hamster. I told myself, “This would be a good time to have a lightning-round discussion about controllable rodents in video games.” I promised myself I would not think too hard about it. The workday passed.


Well, when we got into the recording studio, I guess I’d psyched myself out way too hard: I had succeeded in not considering playable gamevermin all day. During our recording, we came up with a measly 6.5 examples.

As I write this post, I find myself thinking of so many more that did not come to me during the show: Sparkster from Rocket Knight Adventures is a possum, which is a rodent. Then there’s Punky Skunk from Punky Skunk for the original PlayStation.


Wait. I just Googled “Skunk” and, whoa: skunks aren’t rodents. I didn’t know that.

Bandicoots, also, are not rodents.

Oh no: hedgehogs aren’t rodents, either. So we actually only thought of 5.5 playable rodents.

I feel like such a fraud for not knowing that hedgehogs aren’t rodents. Apparently many varieties of vermin (aka “varmints”) aren’t technically rodents.

Hey, I just remembered you can play as a rat in Claymates for the Super Nintendo! So there’s that. I don’t need Google to tell me rats are rodents.


Oh man—Hamtaro. Pikachu. There are probably a hundred more.

Help me out in the comments!
You could subscribe to our YouTube channel, by the way. All our videos are on there, just for you!

I make videos for Kotaku. I make video games for myself and my friends. I like writing fiction. Someday I will publish a novel. Who knows!

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



The only rodent in gaming worth talking about is Boo, the Miniature Giant Space Hamster from Baldur’s Gate. Are other gaming rodents encouraged to go for the eyes? I think not.