I was one of the many people who heard the rumors, the quiet mutterings: Tamagotchi is going to have an app game. I waited with bated breath for what felt like forever and then? The app came out, seemingly out of nowhere. I’ve compiled, what is probably combined, hours into this app and I’m still not bored. But how? Tamagotchi is such a simple concept. How could an adult with a busy life still be playing such a simple app game almost a week later and not be bored. It’s a rough combination of nostalgia, which that’s to be expected, and also oddly enough the fluidity of the way the game runs.
Bandai Namco did something right, that’s for sure. If this game has anything going for it, it’s definitely the way it seamlessly integrates itself into your day to day life. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’ve played it multiple times in one day until it’s brought to my attention. Just like the original Tamagotchi, you care for a baby, then a toddler, teen, and then an adult. Once the cycle is finished you start the whole process over again. My first tama took less than a week to fully transform. The game does have something that I wish the other games had. Before you send your adult tama on their merry way to do whatever it is they do, they have a dream career. You help them along their way to that career by playing mini games and getting the uniform outfit for that career. I think this is a welcome addition to vintage Tamagotchi gameplay and is super cute. I felt much more of a connection to the adult form afterwards. You also fill pages full of specific pictures on playground equipment. This is what you will spend the bulk of your coin currency on. Filling up a page unlocks rarer outfits.
When in baby form, which only lasts a few hours, they will push notifications to you to be fed every 15 minutes or so. Once they hit toddler form, they won’t need as much maintenance. I’m on edge about how I feel about this. On one hand, it’s similar to taking care of an actual baby animal. On the other, it breaks the flow of gameplay integrated into your daily life. So if you don’t mind babying your app a few hours every week, this could be a plus for you.
Care consists of happiness, hunger, cleanliness, bladder, and sleep. Happiness is pretty straightforward. You can fill their happiness meter by petting them for about ten seconds or play a mini game. Happiness is low on the priority list compared to other care meters and your tama will not allow you to maintain your happiness meter until other red meters are taken care of. Hunger is second on the priority list. Your tama will tell you what it’s craving. As far as I have noticed, by all means correct me if I’m wrong, giving your tama what they are craving does not do anything for XP or happiness. Sleep is tied for a second on the priority list with hunger. When your Tamagotchi sleeps, it can take upwards of a few hours, depending on age. You can use gems or watch a short ad to immediately refill the meter, however, if you need to maintain your other meters as well. Bladder is ultimately the most important priority for your tama. It’s a simple bit of button mashing to get them to go to the bathroom and refill their meter. If you don’t get to your app quick enough, your tama will poop everywhere and become dirty. You will need to clean these up and give your tama a bath which brings us to the next factor in care. Cleanliness is maintained by bathing and for whatever reason does not have a meter. I suppose how dirty your tama looks is a meter in itself. You soap them up and then shower them. Care is simple, just like the keychain games.
You have a match three game, planet jump, band practice, and a game called “hide and seek” which unfortunately needs VR to be compatible with your phone, so I haven’t had an opportunity to test it. Match 3 is a basic candy crush style game. You have a certain amount of moves you can make to earn points towards a goal. Planet jump is all about timing. A little too soon or late of a tap can cause your spaceman to fly off into the void. Band practice gives you 4 lines and sends music note buttons down it, a little like guitar hero.
Bugs and issues
When I first played it, it had just been released and there was a massive amount of bugs. Most have actually been patched out, to my surprise. The dev team is very responsive to getting problems fixed. I had mentioned specific problems day two or three in the comments of the App Store and the bugs are already better or completely fixed. However, there are still a few issues. Sometimes when playing mini games, the game will have input lag. When the game was released, this lag was upwards of 3 seconds. Now it’s down to 1 or 2 at the very worst, but it still makes precision games like planet jump unplayable at times. The game does crash on occasion. Specifically for me, when trying to share photos to Facebook or looking at the leaderboard of high scores for mini games. It used to also crash after clicking on an ad to be taken to the App Store, but this seems to have been fixed. The frustration with these problems is minimal and I’m sure the dev team are on their way towards getting these fixed.
All in all, this game is great for a casual player that doesn’t really have a ton of time on their hands. Those with a completionist complex will also love the different Tamagotchi you can collect. The bugs are minimal and the replay ability is great. The game seemingly has no end until all the Tamagotchi are collected, which will take quite a long time.
It’s what you would expect from a Tamagotchi game with a little twist from the career mode and photo achievements. Points were taken off for input lag issues.
Replay ability: 4/5
If you enjoy playing the same game to collect things, this is for you. If not, you may end up quitting after the first cycle.
Mini games: 2/5
To be perfectly honest, it doesn’t seem like much effort was put into the mini games. They are all clones of well known games. There are also so few of them, playing them almost seems like a chore. If they add new mini games, ones that have a little more thought put into them, and don’t require expensive purchases to play them, maybe this score will change.
Overall score: 14/20.
Above average, but needs a little work in the mini game area and bug correcting. I genuinely expect to see good things come out of this game if the dev team continues to add mini games and correct existing problems.