Like many others of Generation Z, I loved playing with my Tamagotchis as a kid. I remember spending hours tending to the creatures in these little devices, after school and on weekends. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, these Tamagotchis were small, handheld gadgets of endless fun for any elementary schooler. In the versions I played as a kid—Tamagotchi V3 (2005) and Tamagotchi Music Star (2008/2009), to be specific—the player could raise a creature, taking care of it and watching it grow from an egg to a fully formed adult Tamagotchi, with much fun along the way.
Well, I’m here to let everyone know that Bandai, the company that started the Tamagotchi series in 1997, has been releasing newer editions of the Tamagotchi all this while—and they look nothing like what you may remember from your childhood. The “Modern Generation” Tamagotchi is far more advanced than you would believe.
I was interested to know how much the Tamagotchi had changed from when I last played with one, so I began watching some unboxings and gameplay videos of the newer models on Youtube. What I learned was that the simple Tamagotchi we have all known and loved has truly evolved. In addition to adopting a full color display in each of their models starting from the Tamagotchi Plus Color, Tamagotchis now have a GPS installed in each device, have near infinite character options, can connect to bluetooth, and can download further content for even more gameplay options. What has possibly kept these cool new models under the radar has been the fact that Bandai stopped manufacturing the new models with English menus and additional text a few years ago, and has generally only been selling their models in Japan.
I decided to give the Tamagotchi another go—after about ten years. During my Christmas holiday back home in Singapore, I found a Tamagotchi supplier on Carousell (a Singaporean version of Ebay) and bought the newest model: Tamagotchi Meets. I purchased the Fairytale Pink version (released November 2018), for 80SGD (about 400RMB) without shipping costs. This Meets version is preceded by the Tamagotchi M!x (July 2016) and the Tamagotchi 4U+ (July 2015).
As expected, my Tamagotchi Meets was completely in Japanese. This was not a problem, as I could memorize the English translation guides provided on Tamagotchi fan support boards on the internet rather quickly.
Overall, this new Tamagotchi was full of pleasant surprises. I had the chance to relive the fun of playing with and raising a digital creature, all while experiencing much brighter, more detailed graphics that were much more appealing to the 17-year-old me, while still maintaining the cartoon-esque feel from previous models.
My winter break Tamagotchi brought back a flood of nostalgia from my childhood. There’s a reason why the Tamagotchi line has been in continuation all these years: they provide an endless amount of imaginative fun in the cutest form possible. Amidst all of the stresses of high school, I urge all of you to give them another try, to let yourself relive the happy-go-lucky fun of our younger selves.
Image credit: https://www.ign.com/boards/threads/who-here-is-old-enough-to-remember-the-tamagotchi-craze.454260168/
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