Everyone’s favorite virtual pet (to murder) from the ’90s is back.
Bandai Namco revived Tamagotchi earlier this year as a Japan-only thing, but now it’s coming to the U.S. on Nov. 5.
The experience has been simplified somewhat and the device itself has slimmed down considerably, but the gist is still the same: care for your digital friend.
When you fire up your Tamagotchi for the first time, one of six chirping faux-pets immediately hatches and you’re off. Their basic care is all on you: feed them when they’re hungry, turn the lights off (i.e. power down) when it’s time to sleep, offer comfort when they’re sick, and — everyone’s favorite — clean up after they poop.
The egg-shaped device is roughly half the size of its 1990s predecessor, sporting a square digital screen with three buttons underneath it. The process of caring for your not-actually-a-pet has been simplified — there’s no playing games with it, and the icons at the top and bottom of the screen have been removed — but that simplification makes sense in the fast-paced world of 2017.
It’s easier to care for your little Tamagotchi, which chirps infrequently and can now be sated with a few brief button presses. I have vague memories of angry high school teachers pausing class to scold students for getting too wrapped up in their fake animal care. That won’t be an issue anymore.
Just like the Japan release, the U.S. Tamagotchi will come in six different shells. Your choice of shell doesn’t affect which virtual critter hatches, however. All six of the original Tamagotchi creatures are back with this re-release, and you end up with one at random any time you hatch a new egg.
There’s really not a whole lot more to say here. Tamagotchi was never meant to be a complicated device, and Bandai’s revival makes it even easier. If you had one of these little critters back in the ’90s, this new take is freshly streamlined and perfect for tickling your nostalgia nerve without taking over your life (again).
Look for them in stores starting Nov. 5, and definitely don’t pay more than $14.99 for one (that’s the suggested retail price).