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Sometimes, adults need a break from their hectic lifestyles with a blast from the past. This week we have an app that turns a favorite childhood toy into a game on your smartphone.
Released worldwide last week, My Tamagotchi Forever — available for both Android and iOS — is an updated version on the classic game. With the mobile app, you’re in charge of raising multiple Tamagotchis as they fill up Tamatown, the village you get to customize as you play along. In the trailer, the game is marketed as a way for adults to have a convenient Tamagotchi experience on their smartphones. But I found that it was actually way more work than I anticipated.
When I first downloaded the game, I was intrigued by the colorful graphics and seeing my Tamagotchi come to life. I was excited to take care of it and watch it evolve — in the same way I used to as a kid, when I would proudly carry around the little plastic egg. But I quickly realized this game was less about taking care of my Tamagotchi and more about spending money in order to get ahead.
In My Tamagotchi Forever, you’re still in charge of making sure your pet goes to the bathroom, showers, eats, gets enough sleep, and is entertained with games. At the bottom of the screen, you’re able to see the levels of all those categories and when it’s time to complete each action. But after a week of playing, I noticed that the only part I’d often get notifications for was the fact that my Tamagotchi “was bored and wanted to play.”
The arcade is where you’d earn a majority of your coins, aside from completing other tasks like feeding your pet or washing it. While the games are fun to play, you’re limited in the amount of time and levels you could continue on for. If you play for too long or die in the game, you’re asked to watch an ad in order to continue. While there are four games you can choose from, having the full variety requires downloading third-party games as well.
I tried to get by without purchasing any coins or diamonds, both of which are the main forms of currency in the game. This currency is spent on clothes, food, and different items to decorate Tamatown. While you can still complete the levels by making sure to play consistently and complete some of the tasks, there are some tasks that are left out because there isn’t enough money to accomplish them.
By level 13, I had managed to raise one baby Tamagotchi, two toddlers, two teens, and one adult. Each type of character you get is always a surprise, and evolves based on how you take care of it. This basically means the more attention you give it and the more you provide for it, the cooler it will grow up to be. I have yet to experience the Tamagotchis that resemble the classic look, however, and I might not even be able to do so before I reach the last level.
While I was able to keep up with having enough coins to feed it, the tough part was filling up the photo book. This is where you take pictures of your pet around town with different items like a swing set, soccer goal, drone, and more. The point is to be able to complete each page in order to receive coins, but it becomes tough when certain items cost 9,000 coins or are locked to specific levels.
As far as pricing goes, the diamonds you can purchase range from $2 for a pack of 20, all the way up to $100 for a pack of 4,000. You can also double your coins in the arcade for $2 — which isn’t outrageous, but definitely takes the fun out of why Tamagotchis were so enjoyable to begin with.
Aside from microcurrencies, there’s also an extreme amount of notifications you’ll get to your phone. I specifically allowed for push notifications until I started receiving them so often that I had to opt out. It made the original Tamagotchi seem far less needy than I remembered, in comparison to this app.
For a game that’s meant to attract adults, it’s important to note that it’s going to require a lot of attention. While you can get by doing a minimal amount of work — making sure it’s fed, clean, and getting sleep — you’re going to have to allocate a large amount of time to make sure you’re completing each level. Especially if you’re trying to beat the game having accomplished every minor task on your list.