What is a Tamagotchi toy?
Taking care of a virtual pet, like a Tamagotchi, can be a rewarding experience. Thanks to the game’s clever design, you’ll quickly find yourself genuinely caring about the wellbeing of a creature you know not to be real.
Tamagotchi is the brand that kickstarted the virtual pet craze in the ‘90s with their pocket-sized, pixelated pets, and the toys have evolved significantly ever since. If you’re thinking of getting a Tamagotchi toy, it’s a good idea to review the range of models currently available and how they differ before you buy.
What to know before you buy a Tamagotchi toy
What is a Tamagotchi?
A Tamagotchi is a virtual pet toy in which you raise an alien from an egg through to adulthood, training it to clean up after itself, helping it make friends and nurturing it along the way. The toy is often egg-shaped and small enough to fit in your pocket or even attach to your keys. Your Tamagotchi’s appearance and demeanor will change as they grow, depending on how you care for them.
Newer models of the Tamagotchi toy connect to a companion smartphone app that offers even more online connectivity, unique Tamagotchi characters and mini-games to play with your pet. The newer Tamagotchi toys also allow you to care for your Tamagotchi into their senior years.
How to play Tamagotchi
Tamagotchi toys have three buttons that allow you to navigate various screens within the game.
No matter which model you buy, your Tamagotchi will have a meter to represent its health, happiness, hunger and age. Once you’ve determined what your Tamagotchi character needs, you choose whether to cook food for it, take it to a restaurant, give it medicine, play with it or more. By tracking your Tamagotchi’s meters and responding accordingly, you can ensure your pet grows to be happy and healthy.
As your Tamagotchi grows older, you can take them to a matchmaker to find them a suitable partner. These Tamagotchi pairs can have children that you can also raise to adulthood, growing your Tamagotchi family tree as you continue to play.
In newer models of Tamagotchi, you can use the smartphone app to connect with friends and set up playdates for your pets. The smartphone app also allows your Tamagotchi to earn points and surprises that you can import to your Tamagotchi device.
If this sounds like a lot, don’t worry, some Tamagotchi toys may require significant involvement, but some models offer a more passive experience as well.
New models vs. old models
Older Tamagotchi models often have monochromatic screens and don’t offer the same level of online connectivity as newer Tamagotchi toys. Still, the battery life is significantly better than more recent models, and some prefer the simplicity of the older Tamagotchi device.
Newer Tamagotchi models offer colorful screens, app compatibility, more options and longer Tamagotchi lifespans. Although modern Tamagotchi toys are more advanced, they don’t provide the same level of nostalgia for those who enjoyed the toy in the ‘90s.
Tamagotchi features to consider
Some of the more popular Tamagotchi devices only feature Japanese menus or menus with pictures but no words. If you desire a device with English menus, you may want to consider the Tamagotchi On.
Newer Tamagotchi devices like the Tamagotchi On and Tamagotchi 4U allow you to pair with other Tamagotchi toys via Bluetooth or infrared connection. Some Tamagotchi devices can also pair with other Tamagotchi models as well as companion smartphone apps.
Tamagotchi toys come in various colors and designs, but the designs available to you will vary from device to device. If you want a solid-colored device, you may have to opt for the original Tamagotchi, or the Tamagotchi 4U, as the Tamagotchi On and many other new models feature flashy designs on their cases.
How much can you expect to spend on a Tamagotchi toy?
Older Tamagotchi models can cost as little as $20, whereas newer models are between $50-$100.
How do you pause a Tamagotchi?
A. There is no official way to pause most Tamagotchi models. However, many users have found that they can effectively halt the devices by navigating to the “time” menu and ensuring that any digits are blinking. As long as one number is flashing, the game is essentially paused.
Can your Tamagotchi pet die?
A. Your pet will die if you don’t properly care for it or as a result of old age. If your pet dies, you’re able to start over with a new pet.
What’s the best Tamagotchi toy to buy?
What you need to know: This is a highly advanced Tamagotchi toy with a wide selection of connectivity options and games.
What you’ll love: This device features English menus. Tamagotchi On’s smartphone app nearly doubles the number of things you can do with your pet. The colored screen looks fantastic.
What you should consider: The battery life leaves a lot to be desired.
Top Tamagotchi for the money
What you need to know: This simplistic virtual pet toy mimics the model that started it all.
What you’ll love: Playing this model has a high nostalgia factor if you played the original Tamagotchi. Simplistic gameplay. Long battery life.
What you should consider: The lack of a colored screen can take away from the realism of the experience.
Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a fan-favorite model that can connect to other Tamagotchi devices.
What you’ll love: This device can connect to other Tamagotchi models. It supports a range of different faceplates and has a gorgeous color screen.
What you should consider: The only language option is Japanese.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.