My Tamagotchi Forever (iOS, Google Play)

For some reason I’ve always been fascinated by the virtual pet phenomenon.  It wasn’t part of my childhood as I was an 80’s kid and this was a 90’s fad.  But the Tamagotchi craze did begin around the time I started writing video game reviews professionally, so I’ve always followed it that way.  Plus many of my little brothers enjoyed it when they were little (they were all 90s kids).  So naturally when a new Tamagotchi game just came out recently on mobile devices (reviewed on iPad here), you know I just had to review it!

After a brief tutorial taking care of a Tamagotchi, the game will leave you on your own.  You’ll first get an egg that you must tap to hatch, and then you can take care of a Tamagotchi pet.  In the house, there are four icons you can choose from at the bottom to care for it.  The fork and knife icon is where you feed your pet.  Use coins to buy many different kinds of foods for your Tamagotchi to eat. The toilet icon is where you can have your pet go use the bathroom and take a shower.  Just follow the directional cues when cleaning.  When your Tamagotchi is sleepy, tap on the moon icon to send your friend to bed.  You’ll know when they need any of these things because there are meters on these icons as well, plus the Tamagotchi will act like it needs something, too.

The last icon is a happy face where you can make your Tamagotchi happy by either petting it or playing games with it.  The games you can play are actually the best part of the whole thing!  There’s a simple match three puzzle game, a planet hopping game that reminds me of another Namco classic called Star Trigon, and a music game that reminds me of that piano game that’s popular on mobile devices.  Playing games and doing anything else really will earn you coins and experience.  Coins you can use to buy items in the shops, and gain enough experience and you’ll level up and unlock more food and other goodies to buy.

Outside your house is a whole neighborhood to explore.  You can shop for new outfits, food, or decorate your town with items.  Take pictures of your Tamagotchi playing on certain things outside and when you fill up an album, you’ll earn rewards.  Another new thing they added to this Tamagotchi game is that when your pet reaches adulthood, they’ll want to take on a career.  This could be anything from an astronaut to a…bunny?  To help them achieve their dreams, you’ll have to fulfill certain requirements like eating certain foods, playing a game a number of times, and getting them a particular outfit to wear.  Once you’ve helped them get their career, you can send them off to town and raise a new Tamagotchi.  So I don’t think they can die in this game, as far as I can tell, which is good.  Overall this is a pretty interesting take on the keychain virtual pet classic, and it certainly held my interest longer than most of these free-to-play titles do.

Kid Factor:

Nothing violent here.  Some slight toilet humor as the Tamagotchi will leave little swirls of poo for you to tap and clean up, and you can also have them sit on the potty and go.  You have to tap them to make them go use the bathroom, and they make a grunting sound as they do.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and parental supervision is recommended for the in-game ads and purchases.

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