Everyone remembers the Tamagochi in the 90s, this little keychain took the world by storm, popularizing the virtual pet genre. It has since inspired several tama clones, came in different versions, videogames, and even a phone app!
This review is about one of such "games", I came across it on the Tamatalk forum (a site for tamagotchi fans), a little fangame put together by a dedicated fan with coding skills.
Created by a user called SA311, it took him three years to complete this project. He based this one around the Gameboy version (both the menu and raising mutiple eggs at the same time) and the newer updated ones for the graphics and game mechanics, as I will talk about it below.
So, is this game worth of your time? Does it hold up to it´s nostalgia factor? Here are my thoughts on it.
If you´re familiar with this virtual pet, you know the basics, you feed it, clean it, play with it and make sure it doesn´t die. It will also grow according to how well you care for it
However this isn´t the Tamagotchi that most people remember, it comes bundled with new features and complex mechanics. Plus it can be played on PC.
Some of it´s features include being able to breed your pet, colorful updated graphics, connectivity etc.
When you open the game you choose an egg and name your pet. You can also choose the game speed (real time or fast). Real-time it´s pretty much what it says in the tin, your tama will age in real-time when the program is active, if you were to exit the game and log on the next day, the tama will have aged 12+ hours. Interestingly enough, I once forgot to log on for an entire week, and when I came back it was like a day just passed. So, you don´t have to always to turn your device every day.
Fast time is for the more impatient players, they age faster, and you can use the clock to skip to the next day. You can also change the speed whenever you want, making this a much less time demanding tamagotchi.
Your pet has special needs, you can check them on the menu that shows their stats by right-clicking the mouse. In order to care properly, you will need to make sure their hearts and food bar are full. If you leave them empty too long, it becomes a care mistake, neglecting your tama for too long can affect it´s growth make it sick and die.
When it comes to feeding it has a variety of foods, all with their own stats, they must be bought at a store. When the tama poops you simply send it to the bathroom, it is possible to toilet train it, you have to wait until it shows the poop animation and click on the bathtub just in time. Do it enough times, it will go to the bathroom on it´s own.
To increase it´s mood meter just give it toys or play games and heal it when it´s sick
There is more to this game than just feeding, this version comes with several locations to explore.
You can take your tama for a walk in the park where it can find gifts or other tamas. There is also a school they can go, babies start in preschool, school as a child/teenager and graduate into jobs as an adult.
School is one of the places you teach your tama skills such like logic, passion, beauty etc. The classes comes in the form of minigames. As an adult, you can pick specific jobs for your pet depending on what stat it has.
The game corner is where you play game to earn coins, they have a lot of different ones, you unlock new ones by increasing the pets stats meter.
Than you have a bunch of stores, where you can buy food, toys, decorate rooms, discover your pets genetics, and increase the care meter.
When it comes to events, there are some cool things that happen if you open the game at certain times of year. During Christmas and Halloween, your room is decorated according to the season. If you put your birth date, expect your pet to wish you a happy birthday.
You might receive news and letters everyday, some will make you lose coins ( the school seems to ask money for field trips too often) or get a gift.
Connectivity is a cool feature in this game, as you can get your pet to befriend a variety of other tamas. This was actually based on the Tamagotchi versions that allowed you to connected two devices. It´s not something you see often in other virtual pet games.
There are three ways to make friends, if you´re raising several tamas, you have them interact with each other, if you play in the park you can befriend new characters, and the last one is user codes. You can share codes with other people, and input theirs as well. The official discord server, actually has a section where users share them, the link can be found at the end of this article.
You can visit, play, get gifts, and receive letters, the higher the friendship meter, the better letters and gifts you get. Your tama´s will also grow along with it, you can even marry them.
Marriage is when things get interesting, you can marry your tama after 8 years. You can either marry the ones you met through the friend's list, or through a matchmaker, in this option she will show several random suitors, and you can reject or accept. One thing to note however, is there is no gender filter, same-sex marriage is actually something unique to this game, as official tama versions only allow breeding between male and female adults.
When your pet ties the knot, they will leave the house and give birth to an egg that you can raise (congrats you´re a grandparent!). And if you miss your old tama, you can still visit them through the parents option when going outdoors.
Sometimes, if you´re luck, they might even a have new egg waiting next time you visit. But this only happens if you have at least one empty pet slot, and marry ingame tamas. It doesn´t work with the tamas from other users, since they are also raising their siblings. This game also gives you a family tree, to help keep track of what types you married, very useful if you want to breed a specific character.
If you don´t marry them, they will simply turn into the elder stage after a certain time and naturally pass away.
But, if you´re haven´t found the perfect match and still want an egg, you can choose adoption,and they will be registered as the parent.
Your pet can turn into different characters according to several factors, quality of care, stats, and genetics. Yes, this game has an elaborate breeding system as previously mentioned. Tamas can inherit traits from their parents like character types, skills. You can pay the pharmacist to uncover its genetic code.
Certain types require perfect care, aka no mistakes to be unlocked, although some players will neglect their pets on purpose to acquire the weird "ugly" characters. I heard you only get Devilitchi ( a devil tama) this way, but I haven´t confirmed it yet.
Then there are the six stats, logic, humor, beauty, passion, artistry, and kindness. School is the best way to change them, but you can pay to increase a specific stat, I´ve already covered toys and food as another method. Just to give an example how this works, having high beauty can increase the chance you will get a beautiful character type.
The game actually encourages players to discover all the character types with a tamadex, it is always fun to raise a new pet and try different ways to raise one.
The creator when out of his way to make it moddable, with a complete guide and gave his approval. since it has been launched players have created custom pet, growth charts, and new rooms to spice things up. These mods can be found on the discord. If you get bored of the same graphics, or completed the tamadex and are looking for new characters to raise this is the place to go.
This game was a huge nostalgia trip for me, it has the same old gameplay that made Tamagotchis so popular while being a new updated version.
The cute graphics, complex evolution, and the tons of minigames and activities clearly show that this was a labor of love. I like to sometimes have it running in the background, or open it up occasionally. Part of me wishes that newer virtual pet games had this level of complexity. Most virtual pets nowadays tend to be of the smartphone variety, where the pets are static and don´t evolve, there not a lot of stakes involved like your pet dying, and it´s mostly more of a pet dress up game.
I would even go so far to say that this game is actually far superior to the official phone version, and would love a mobile version of it, but the developer has no plans for it and since moved on from the project.
Hopefully, with this review, more people might learn about this game and be inspired to do something similar.
This game is free to play, and more information can be found on their blog and discord channel.
Here are some of my pet codes, feel free to use them. They are in text files for convenience. Each file has one code to add to the friends list and several for games and other activities.
Disclaimer: This is not an earning money game. I have been asked this many times when it comes to my regular game reviews, despite not mentioning it anywhere. I make reviews of both play to earn and non-earning games, so from now on I will put this disclaimer to clarify.
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