Anyone over the age of about 25 will remember Tamagotchis. The little electronic keychain pets became very popular for a few year in the late 90s. Caring for, disciplining (smacking), and eventually neglecting the virtual animals was a short-lived fad that spawned imitation toys and an anime TV show.
Since that time, the toys settled into a comfortable niche market while staying relatively popular in Japan. Now, though, Namco Bandai is bringing back Tamagotchis, this time to the devices we hold even more dear than our keychains.
Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. was released this week for Android smartphones.
Fans of the original "games" will be happy to learn that the character designs of the Tamagotchis has not improved significantly since they were first introduced. The major upgrades are that the pets are now in color and are made up of a (very) few extra pixels. This appears to be a conscious decision on the part of the developers.
It's a free app that can be downloaded through Google Play by Android users in the U.S. and Canada. It features the original "characters" in the series and allows users to collect Tamagotchi wallpapers or share their virtual pets via Facebook.
As a slice of nostalgia, Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. is sure to be installed on thousands of smartphones in the coming weeks. What that game needs to become long-lasting, however, is a home screen widget. That way, users can see the pile of poo their creature has left on the floor every time they unlock their smartphone.