Developer: NamcoBandai Games Inc.
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime: Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The hottest toy on the market when I was in elementary school was definitely the Tamagotchi. Everybody had one. Those who didn’t, wanted one. For some reason this digitized pocket pet captured our minds and hearts through digital love. This favored toy’s popularity didn’t last long however, but it has now been resurrected as an iPhone app to attempt to win back our love. The Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. app has existed on the Android platform for a little while now but it has finally made its way to iOS.

Believe it or not, the Tamagotchi is now 16 years old. Now that it’s well into its teen years it was high time for it to revive itself. The new Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. app takes the entire classic Tamagotchi experience and puts it onto the screen of the iPhone. The display has two different interfaces: one with the classic egg-shaped case with three buttons and a zoomed in mode. The classic display mode gives users the ability to take care of their critter using the three classic control buttons to feed, clean and play as they would with a real Tamagotchi device. The zoom mode is a little different in that it doesn’t require users to use the three buttons and let’s them directly touch each task they’d like to perform. While the zoomed in mode is a little more user-friendly, I really liked using the classic mode for nostalgia’s sake.

In order to take full advantage of the Tamagotchi experience, I’d recommend enabling the notifications the first time the app is launched. Not having notifications enabled will most likely result in neglect since users won’t be able to know when their pet is in need. With the proper care, this virtual pet will grow and mature from an egg into a full-grown creature. In order to grow, the pet will need food, sleep and entertainment on a regular basis during the day. The notifications will notify users when the pet needs any of these things to be able to quickly provide for the pet’s needs to prevent a untimely and tragic death.

The developers of Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. certainly brought the whole experience that I remember of owning a Tamagotchi to life. Everything that I remember about the pixelated pet is there along with a lot more fun features like additional backgrounds and shells for the outside of the virtual case. All the features are available for free but there is an in-app purchase option to get rid of the small banners at the bottom of the screen. The one and only downside I experienced was a little lag when launching the app after it had been dormant but other than that it’s very well made and really brings to life the lovable characters I knew as a kid.

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