Hatchi by Portable Pixels icon

Hatchi ($0.99) by Portable Pixels is a retro-style virtual pet, with an interface that is exactly like those Tamagotchis that were popular several years back.

When I was a kid, I had quite a few little Tamagotchi keychains, featuring a variety of pixelated pets. I can still remember that little beep, which was prone to going off in the middle of the night, and worse, while in class. I got more than one taken away. I was never the best virtual pet owner, and many of my Tamagotchis tragically died after a few days.

My Tamagotchi days are long over, but now I have Hatchi, the little pet who lives in my phone. Hatchi doesn’t do much but bounce around and demand that I feed him, entertain him, and keep him clean.

Hatchi by Portable Pixels screenshot

Hatchi starts off as an egg, which you tap to hatch. He then morphs into a little blob of a child, before growing into an adult complete with horns and wings.

There are six things you can do with Hatchi: feed him, wash him, give him a book, play ball, put him to sleep, and give him medicine. In turn, Hatchi has needs corresponding to these actions, and you need to keep his meters full. His need meters are: hunger, hygiene, smarts, active, energy, and happy.

Activities like sports, reading, and eating, will improve his happiness and their own respective categories, but they also lower his energy. If you neglect to feed Hatchi, he will get sick and require a shot to get better, which lowers his happiness.

Most activities drain Hatchi’s energy, and because he isn’t very smart, he won’t go to sleep on his own when you shut off the app. You will need to make sure to tap the nap button, or Hatchi won’t be much fun when you next open the game up.

Hatchi by Portable Pixels screenshot

As with Tamagotchis, playing with Hatchi isn’t particularly interesting. I appreciate the faithfulness to the original toy, but this is an updated iOS version – Hatchi should, at the very least, have quite a few more interactions available.

Even though the game is simplistic, those of us who owned Tamagotchis are going to love this app. Hatchi is a permanent fixture on my iPhone, and the revival of a childhood toy has been well worth the $0.99 that the app costs.