Created in 1996, they soon swept from their origins in Japan to capture the imagination of the entire Western world. These small "digital pets" spawned spin-off products, generic knock-offs, and a collector's craze that easily rivaled that of Pokémon cards and Beanie Babies. The portable LCD units were just enough of a game to be considered great fun, while remaining simple enough to be able to target a broad audience with much success.
But with the advent of full-color portable video game systems, cellular telephones, and the general inevitable sway of public opinion, the Tomagotchi would soon be cast off into pop culture history. However, at least one company thinks that now, with the advent of smartphones, marks a unique new opportunity for a similar phenomenon to catch on as an app.
The project is called Pakka Pets. The Kickstarter page has already managed to raise over $15,000 towards its $20,000 goal -- with well over 20 days of fundraising remaining. In other words: At this rate, not only will Pakka Pets become a reality, but is making waves toward public consciousness and stands to make good on several promised stretch goals.
As self-described by Proto Games, who are based in San Francisco, "Pakka Pets is a mobile pet game adventure inspired by games like Tamagotchi, Pokemon, Animal Crossing and other games about cuteness, friendship and having fun." The company claims that the game will have over 50 different pet varieties, including several evolutionary chains.
For those who enjoy taking caretaker responsibility over their virtual creatures, Pakka Pets seems to be shaping up into a winning entry for smartphones everywhere. Pakka Pets is aiming to be released for both iPhone and Android.
Eric Bailey blogs at NintendoLegend.com, where he is reviewing every American-released NES video game. He also serves as Editor-In-Chief of retro gaming features site 1MoreCastle.com, and can be followed on Twitter @Nintendo_Legend.