Alien Hatchi - Virtual Pet by Portable Pixels icon

Alien Hatchi – Virtual Pet ($0.99) by Portable Pixels is the follow up to Hatchi, which was Portable Pixels’ original Tamagotchi pet style game.

I was a fan of Hatchi and kept a portable pet on my iPhone for quite some time, so I was excited when Alien Hatchi was released. Unfortunately, I think that this version of the game has lost a lot of the magic of the original, which had a charming retro look.

Alien Hatchi has a much more colorful, cartoonish design, and the gameplay is very similar, though Alien Hatchi is a bit more advanced in some aspects.

You’ll start out with an egg, which will then evolve into a child, then a teenager, then an adult. You have to tend to your alien each day, giving it food, entertainment, and schooling.

Alien Hatchi - Virtual Pet by Portable Pixels screenshot

All of this is done by tapping the food, activity, and knowledge buttons on the bottom of the screen. While this was a novel concept in Hatchi because of its resemblance to an old school Tamagotchi, it is a bit boring in Alien Hatchi.

After several days of button pressing, your pet will evolve into a full grown alien. There are two types – robot and squid, and your actions as it grows will determine the final type of pet that you end up with.

Alien Hatchi is based on a fuel concept. Everything that you do takes fuel, and extras, like food and happiness pills, also cost fuel. You earn fuel automatically, which generally means that you’ll always have enough to keep your alien fed and taken care of.

Alien Hatchi - Virtual Pet by Portable Pixels screenshot

You also get fuel when you travel, taking your alien on walks. You need to turn on location for this to work though, which you can do in the options menu. Some elements of the game are quite expensive, and you’ll need to save up a lot of fuel for genetic mutations, or purchase additional fuel in app.

My main issue with Alien Hatchi, besides the fact that it’s just less interesting reskin of Hatchi was the inherent slowness of the game.

For example, when I feed my alien a hamburger, I have to sit and watch while it eats the hamburger rather than being able to open the menu and tap something else. There’s a slight delay to everything that I do in the game, which is irritating.

The game has extras like adoptions and mutations, along with achievements to earn, but none of that had the same charm that the original game brought to the iPhone. There’s little to do in Alien Hatchi beyond pressing buttons, while in Hatchi, there were a few mini games to play.

Though I wasn’t a fan of Alien Hatchi, your experience may be completely different from mine. This game is very similar to Hatchi, and if you liked the original and you like the art style of Alien Hatchi, you may very well enjoy it. Just keep in mind that this is an app you’ll open for a few minutes a day, rather than a game you can actually play.