Few children of the 80s have never played with a Tamagotchi. If you put a kitten, puppy or pony on your list to Santa, chances are you'd end up with one of these electronic pets in your stocking.
Tamagotchis were an ideal alternative to the real living, breathing creature if you weren't sure your kid could hack feeding, watering, playing with and generally caring for a pet on a daily basis. But it wasn't the same thing... Not even close. See Best Android Apps.
When Honikou Games' Pet Tamagotchi popped up in Google Play, we thought we'd give it a try for old time's sake. The graphics are cute, and this free game kept us entertained for a short while, but we quickly remembered why we were so happy when our electronic pet's batteries died all those years ago.
In some ways, the screen of a smartphone or tablet is better suited to Tamagotchi welfare than the egg-shaped, three-button, keyring-based computer of old. For a start, there's proper colour graphics, and there's also more space for additional furniture onscreen. The problem is, there's still very little to do here - in fact, you could say there's even less. See Top 10 Android apps.
Original Tamagotchis had a health bar, to which forgetting to feed your pet, play with it or send it to the toilet or to sleep had a seriously detrimental effect. When your pet got really sick you could administer medicine, and if things didn't improve your little electronic friend would eventually die. There's none of this in Pet Tamagotchi: there's no health record, nor does your pet appear to age.
However, Honikou Games has added a few new features to bring Tamagotchis into the smartphone age. Rather than guessing what's getting your pet down, you simply tap on it to find out what it needs: food, sleep, a wash or the toilet. When you've satisfied all its needs, the pet tells you it wants to go fishing. And that's all your pet will ever want to do.
You tap on the gate to head to the beach, where catching fish is as simple as tapping anywhere in the water and then tapping again when the line bobs. You can catch common, unusual, rare and epic fish, with more stars awarded for sales of the best species.
Each time you care for your pet you're awarded a random number of stars. You can bump up your star count by tapping birds flying overhead, selling fish, and defending your pet's territory from thieves while it sleeps. Stars are then used to customise items such as your pet's home, waterfall, toilet and trees. You can also buy your pet hats and glasses.
We bought a pirate ship for our pet to sleep in, and a pirate hat to wear. But it's too easy to collect stars, and you could potentially win enough stars to buy all the items in the shop within a few hours.