Tamagotchi: The Reincarnation in App Form?

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The Tamagotchi brings back bittersweet memories. I was 8 or 9 years old when I first got a Tamagotchi of my own. Most of my classmates already owned one when I got mine. It did not involve crying and sulking to get one, but I think my father saw how my gaze would fall upon one of those Tamagotchi egg-shaped things each time we walked around a mall. My father asked me if I wanted one, I silently nodded and had a big smile on my face. I looked through all the Tamagotchis they had in store, and finally picked out a pale blue egg-shaped one. My memory now fails me because I cannot remember what my digital pet looked like.

The game was about raising your electronic Tamagotchi pet. It starts off as an egg, then hatches and grows bigger over time. My Tamagotchi story was less about raising one, but more of keeping it alive. You have to make sure it is fed and clean. If the Tamagotchi is thirsty, hungry or didn’t go potty it will fall sick. Eventually, when things get worse it dies.

Reasons Why Tamagotchi Will Not Do Well as an App

  1. Design and Animation

From the picture above, the Tamagotchi design is kept the same. The poor pixelated digital pet is still confined in an egg-shaped controller. Running against games these days that have beautiful colours and great animation, it will probably not attract people to download the game.

  1. Game Concept

The idea is to raise your own digital pet. From what I remember more than 10 years ago, all it does is eat, drink and go poo. You need to feed it a few times a day, then it goes poo and you have to clean it up. Simple. Warning: potential failure. Games should be addictive. It should keep you going every minute. Once it’s fed, then you feed it again what happens? Obesity? Heart failure? Cholesterol? Unless the game is created where the pet is hungry every 20 minutes, thirsty every 40 minutes and goes poo 10 minutes after its meal there is no reason for you to be on that app for hours and hours. If people are not on that app for hours, then advertising on that game app will not be as attractive. Less ads, less money and it means players might need to pay for the app! If there is nothing to do in the game, you need an avenue to go to kill a few minutes then come back to something you can do. And if there is nothing to keep you on that app what do you do? Exit the game app and move onto a different game app.

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Vancouver Metro Newspaper, February 18, 2013

Reason It Will Do Well

  1. Nostalgia

For old time’s sake. I would download it. Just to reflect back on the silly kid I was worrying day and night about my Tamagotchi. It is probably not a good idea to have the generation who played the Tamagotchi when they were kids as the target audience. That generation would be in their 20s now. Yeah, we’re getting too old for games. They need to create something that will appeal to children in this generation. Children in this high definition, 3D animation, smartphone, tablet generation. Tamagotchi worked when I was a kid because it was created even before the pixelated ‘Snake’ games on Nokia phones. Yes, that’s how old it is.

Gosh, even the reason that it can do well has a downside to it.

My tragic tale of Tamagotchi

I left my Tamagotchi in my dad’s car a few to many times when he was going away for 5 days on a business trip. Cue the water works. I cried because my Tamagotchi was going to die. Desperately, I picked up the phone every night and called my dad to teach him how to feed and clean my Tamagotchi. I had memorized all the buttons and its functions. Tamagotchi still died in the end and I had to re-hatch it.

One night, we went out for a Sunday night dinner at KFC and I brought my Tamagotchi with me. When we left, I left my Tamagotchi on the table. I realized the moment we stepped outside the restaurant so we quickly retraced our steps. The cleaners have already cleaned the table. I interrogated them over and over again whether they have seen a Tamagotchi on the table and all the cleaners said no. Till this day I still believe they pocketed it. I had my share of tears that night but decided that I did not want another Tamagotchi to replace my lost one. When I lost my Tamagotchi, I realized how much trouble it had brought and the many tears I have shed for a measly piece of plastic. I do credit it for the joy it had brought me as well but the sad parts were more memorable.

Well it’s probably time to have some interaction with our blog’s readers! Did you own a Tamagotchi? What kind of memories did you have about it? Leave your comments below!

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