During my short (yet quite astounding) iPhone game-reviewing career, I have had a flashback to a time in my childhood. ‚ Not surprisingly, this review is quite similar.
Namco has recently started selling Tamagotchi: ‘Round the World, another addition to the seemingly endless remakes being released for the iPhone.‚ Growing up in the 1990’s, I took part in my share of the Tamagotchi (and Tamagotchi knockoff) phenomenon.‚ However, Tamagotchi was never one of the fads that really stuck with me like Pokemon, Moon Shoes and Furbies.‚ So, when I heard Namco was going to bring back the original digital pet, my feeling was indifferent.
Feb. 22, 2009
For those of you who don’t know, Tamagotchi was a hand-held, low-bit, digital pet-raising game.‚ The game was stored in a small, egg-like console with a small screen on the front. ‚ The pets were cute, the game was cheap and the keychain was a must have for all the cool boys and girls.
Tamagotchi: ‘Round the World, however, is still hand-held, but in a slightly more high-tech device: the iPhone.
This Namco title is, essentially, the same basic game as the original.‚ You are trying to “raise” a tiny little creature.‚ Still, though the basic premise is the same, Tamagotchi: ‘Round the World is a bit more complex than the original Bandai game.
First, the iPhone title offers players to raise different breeds of Tamagotchi.‚ These breeds, named Mametchi, Memetchi, Kuchipatchi and Violetchi, don’t really perform any different tasks than any other; they just look different.‚ All cute, just different.‚ Other unique features include the ability to play five mini-games, which include Rock Paper Scissors, Bubble Game, Move It, Beach Ball and Dancing as well as three more “activities” called Tickling, Memory Match and Math Puzzle.
The ultimate point of Tamagotchi: ‘Round the World is to complete the various missions that you encounter.‚ To complete these missions, you need to interact with the friendly environment. And by friendly, I literally mean friendly.‚ The trees, bushes and geysers all have big, smiling faces.
The missions require you to do different tasks involving these friendly faces.‚ Sometimes you will need to do a Rain Dance near a geyser.‚ Sometimes you may need to play rock paper scissors with a tree.‚ Other times it might be as simple as pooping on a bush seedling.
Whatever the case, the missions all end up seeming the same.‚ Sure, the Tamagotchi breeds rotate in-between missions and the environments change, but it definitely was not enough to keep my interest for very long.
The movement and gameplay was fairly bland.‚ Moving involved pointing and clicking to a location.‚ Doing key functions required the same: pointing to a location and choosing an action.‚ This idea is perfect for the click-wheel iPods, but for a touch screen, I think a drag and drop feature would be much more fun and interactive.
One thing that I did liked about Tamagotchi: ‘Round the World was the infinite environment.‚ No matter how far left or right you send your pet, it would always end up in the same general area.‚ Think mouse wheel.‚ It was a creative way to keep the game simple and the players from getting confused.
This review has sounded critical, but in all fairness, Tamagotchi: ‘Round the World is a decent game for kids.‚ The gameplay is simple, the environments are clean and friendly and the pets are pretty cute.‚ For adults, however, the Namco title will grow quite bland quite quickly.‚ Tamagotchi ‘Round the World is a solid title for iPhone and iPod carrying younguns, serving as a cheaper ($4.99 price tag, less the cost of the device, of course) substitute for Webkinz.