The virtual pet makes a comeback on iOS.
Long before mobile gaming was a twinkle in developers’ eyes, there was Tamagotchi. The tiny virtual pet caused so many grief and worry as they struggled to keep their pets alive by caring for them through a series of button pushes and virtual tasks. The keychain pet was originally released in May 1997 worldwide from Bandai and it became a HUGE toy fad of the 1990s and early 2000s. I was in high school at the time and I remember how much teachers hated them. They were a distraction in the classroom because many students wouldn’t mute the sounds and when they did they were constantly checking to see if their pet needed something. It was tragic when you missed a cue from the game because all the time you spent cultivating this tiny creature was suddenly lost when they suddenly died from missing a meal or not getting enough sleep. The Tamagotchi pets were fragile in their demeanor and they demanded a lot of attention. The tiny egg-shaped device was all the rage with kids for several years. It was such a fad that game creator, Bandai, developed the toy virtual pet into a mobile app called My Tamagotchi Forever.
The premise of the iOS game is still the same as the original — raise a virtual pet, care for it, don’t let it die — but Bandai has taken it a step further and allows you to do more with your pet now. Now when your pet evolves (grows up), you can help it choose a career path and have its own family. There is also an entire infrastructure filled with mini-games, the ability to make friends and explore Tamatown. Some of the features of the game include:
- RAISE your Tamagotchi character.
- HAVE FUN with your Tamagotchi character
- EXPERIENCE AR by playing exhilarating Hide & Seek games with your Tamagotchi friends in your real surroundings!
- EVOLVE your Tamagotchi characters from one type to another depending on how you care for them. You never know who they might become next!
- COLLECT memorable moments shared with your Tamagotchi characters and the friendly town citizens.
- SHARE your favorite moments with your friends.
- GATHER coins by playing mini-games and leveling-up!
- UNLOCK delicious food, cute costumes, and colorful items to decorate Tamatown.
- COMPARE your progression and Tamagotchi-raising skills with your friends.
- TICKLE your Tamagotchi characters – they love it!
My Tamagotchi Forever is free to download and play, but as is the case with many mobile games, there are in-app purchases available. You can disable the IAP option in your device settings. There is an AR feature available for some devices that use ARKit. This includes most iPhone models and some iPads. You can check to see if your device is compatible by clicking here.
I remember being apart of the original Tamagotchi craze. My Tamagotchi Forever plays in very much the same way. When you first open the game, you are met with an adult Tamagotchi who takes you through the tutorial (level 1). Once you get into Level 2, you are presented with your first egg. The egg hatches and you have a baby Tamagotchi to take care of. You have to feed it (which takes coins), clean up after it, wash it, make sure it goes to the bathroom (if you don’t it will make messes), and let it sleep. There is a fair amount of the game that is SIM-like in nature. I am a huge fan of The SIMS and this has a very similar feel. It is a huge improvement over the tiny black & white 8-bit screen we used to carry around on our backpacks.
You still get the annoying notifications when your Tamagotchi needs something. It can be hard to keep up with if you aren’t paying close attention to its schedule. My suggestion is that you check in on it every hour or so — especially earlier in its life. My Tamagotchi is currently a Toddler, but it’s growing fast. The game seems to run pretty smoothly and aside from options to watch videos for things like speeding up sleep, it doesn’t beat you over the head with advertisements or push you to make purchases to move through the game.
My Tamagotchi Forever is a big improvement over the original pocket-sized game. Bandai handled the gameplay aspect very well, too. I can recommend this to people who once carried around their virtual pets or to younger people who just want an enjoyable simulation game to play.
DOWNLOAD – My Tamagotchi Forever – FREE (with in-app purchases)