Developer: Mawges
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Children born and bred in the 90s invariably owned a Tamagotchi virtual pet, or at least one of its many imitators. These keychain-sized, egg-shaped devices offered the fun of attending to a demanding pet and cleaning up after it without having to endure the hassles of affection and cuddles. Wildagotchi: Virtual Pet from Mawges does a good job of recapturing the nostalgic beeps and boops of monochrome virtual pets. Problem is, the fun wears off quite quickly and leaves “owners” remembering why they ran their original pet through the washing machine in the first place.

wildagotchi_05wildagotchi_04True to its name, Wildagotchi‘s pet roster isn’t limited to dogs and cats. From day one, owners are allowed to choose from a wolf cub, a baby gorilla, or a little panda bear. Players can take care of more than one animal at a time, and more critters are unlocked as the brood grows. The animals start out as babies (as most living things do), and grow into adulthood over the next few days. Players are responsible for their animal’s welfare, which means adhering to the Hunger, Energy, Hygiene, and Fun meters at the top of the screen. When the animal is hungry, it must be fed. When it’s tired, it must be put to bed. When it poops – well, that should be self-explanatory.

It’s also necessary to play games with the Wildagotchi to keep them entertained. These distractions are pretty simplistic, and don’t go far beyond jumping over or dodging objects for as long as possible. More games are unlocked as the Wildagotchi grows, which provides some mild incentive to keep playing. There are even multiplayer games that can be played over a Bluetooth connection with other pet owners.

Wildagotchi is an authentic Tamagotchi-style experience for mobile. Everything’s here, including the beeps, boops, and monochrome pixel art. The only question is, can a digital pet remain appealing for more than a week?

Granted, Wildagotchi lets players unlock new animals, which is a good reason to keep on trucking. But once nostalgia fiends have had enough time to mourn their dead childhood, they’ll probably move on. Youngsters, meanwhile, are likely already immersed in one of the countless hyper-shiny virtual pets available on the App Store or Google Play.

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