Anyone remember those Tamagotchis from back in the 90’s? Those cute little virtual pets on a keychain that you had to care for and train? Did you have one of those? I did. I loved that little thing until the battery died.
Well, you can relive your Tamagotchi days as long as you have an iPhone or iPad that runs iOS 6.1.3 or higher with this fairly new app called Hatch. I say “fairly new” because it’s been around for a little over three months now, and it’s seen a number of updates since launch.
App Basic Information
I was an early adopter of this app, interestingly, even before I invested in my first iPhone. In fact, I had forgotten all about it until I got the email that said Hatch was releasing and I had reserved a pet. I bought the app and have been charmed by my fugu (the name of the creature) ever since.
The app itself costs $1.99, which, at first glance, feels more pricey than the free or $0.99 apps you maybe used to. However, the one time cost covers all the updates and new content. There are no real-money transactions within the game so far. Updates have been pretty regular, with several substantial feature/content updates since release.
The game is colorful, the art and animation are both endearing, and the fugu isn’t too demanding throughout the day. If you want to pick it up and check on your pet once or twice a day, that’s all it really needs to keep it going. Warning: your fugu will run away if you don’t care for it within a certain amount of time (think it’s 3 days).
What’s Up With Hatch
Like you’d expect from a virtual pet, you have to feed your fugu (fruits grow on the trees) and clean up after it to keep it happy. You can also tap on it to pet your fugu or tap and hold to see some really cute interactions. Also, try shaking your mobile device.
As you interact with your fugu, you’ll notice a ring of white flowers begins to grow around it. When the ring of flowers complete and your fugu is super-happy, the flowers will turn purple. Tapping on your fugu will initiate the Happy Dance. This causes fruits to grow really fast, with the chance of an elusive star fruit appearing!
You can also sell your fruit to your friend Max, who runs the shop and helps you learn how to take care of your fugu. There’s two types of currencies in the game — acorns, which are more plentiful, and star coins. Both can be found in game if you search the forest with a sharp eye, from selling fruits (star fruits = star coins), or through gifts that your fugu brings you throughout the day.
Items in the store include items that unlock new features (the camera and training whistle), new decorative blankets for your fugu to sit on, themes that change the look of the ground and trees around your fugu, and images you can use as wallpapers for your mobile device.
Each time you earn a Happy Dance from your fugu, you earn trust with your pet. Once you reach a 100% trust level, you unlock new items in the store (such as decorations) and new interactions (playing games).
Your fugu can interact with you a number of ways, such as playing fetch and peek-a-boo. You can also purchase the training whistle and teach your fugu tricks by rewarding him with star fruits. The tricks feature is the newest addition to the game, and makes for a fun little diversion.
Fugu also sleep when you charge your device and dance when you play music.
Note one thing: Unlike some virtual pets, fugus don’t grow up and evolve. However, the features the apps provide continue to add new and interesting interactions, a sort of “growing up” of it’s own kind.
Is This App For You?
If you enjoy virtual pets, have the time to check in on a pet for a short time almost every day, and don’t mind taking part in watching the development of a young app, then you may like Hatch! This pet rewards the patient and committed — focused on those who enjoy pet interaction and collection.
The team seems like a wonderful group of people who really love their game. They have continuously provided fixes and features, all completely free once you pay the initial price of the app. And that’s a small thing to pay for all the fun that my fugu has provided me the past three months!
See more of my fugu adventures on my Tumblr!