Anybody who grew up trying to nurture a Tamagotchi will know how fun virtual pets can be. But the grainy screens of those 90s gadgets have come a long way, with the introduction of gaming apps.
This summer sees the release of what is being hailed as the most advanced virtual pet game EVER.
It’s called My Talking Tom Friends – out now on iOS and Android – and it’s the latest in the Talking Tom and Friends series that you and your family will probably already know and love. After all, the franchise already has 13 billion global downloads!
This time around, gamers can play with not just one, but all six of the lovable characters in the game simply by tapping their finger on them.
Each iconic Talking Tom and Friends character has a unique personality and it’s up to players to explore that and get to know them better in the game.
The gameplay revolves around the lives of Talking Tom, Talking Angela, Talking Hank, Talking Ginger, Talking Ben and Talking Becca as they move into a cool new home together for the first time.
Your job is to help set them up with everything they need – to stay happy and entertained – even jumping on a bus to go shopping for furniture in town.
The game has what developers call a ‘sandbox approach’ – meaning the whole family can play any way they want.
So you might have a footie match with one character, serve up some fruit for another to eat or literally take them to the loo when they feel they need it. Feed one character too many spicy chillies and they will fly into the air.
There are also some brilliant new mini-games within the game that you can play.
These include snakes and ladders – and a Guitar Hero-style game where you rock out to the music and tap to the beat, which is great fun.
Veteran Talking Tom and Friends fans will like the change from portrait to landscape for the first time, which really opens up the 3D action.
Players can discover beautiful visuals and the exciting open space of the friends’ new home, and move through different rooms as they wish.
They can also go out into the garden, where they can grow food, go swimming, or play in the sandbox.
As Barbara Erman, Senior Game Designer at Outfit7 and part of the team behind My Talking Tom Friends, explains, the game is something that fans won’t have experienced before.
She says: “We wanted to give fans the perfect blend of caring for their favourite characters and having amazing experiences with them. And where the line between “you” and “them” disappears as you get drawn into the bright, vivid world of games, fun, and friendship.”