On first launch, you are presented with a rather simple page inviting you to “Tap to Start” – nothing fancy but it does the job, and from this screen you can see the rather cool retro pseudo-big-pixel interface (and no, I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it!). It reminds me of the Tamagotchi display (as I presume it was designed to), and I have to say it is a refreshing change to the high resolution graphics normally displayed on my Nexus 7.
After you name your pet (I called mine Coolsmartpet, for obvious reasons), you are taken to the main screen where you are presented with a picture of an egg which you have to tap. After doing so, your Hatchi pet is born and you can begin looking after him or her!
Well, that’s the theory. After hatching my Hatchi, feeding him, getting him to read books and exercising him, I went on holiday and forgot about poor old Coolsmartpet. One day, I came back to my room from the pool and… Coolsmartpet was dead.
After grieving for the poor fellow (he was only 3 days old), I handed the Nexus to my brother and he promptly set about creating Coolsmartpet II (a girl this time). He had more success than I did, building up quite an addiction at one point! It was at this point that I fully understood the appeal of Hatchi – you slowly build up a connection with this collection of pixels on screen and you want to see your Hatchi grow and succeed – alas, it was not to be. One morning, I heard a wail of anguish coming from the other room – Ben (my brother) had forgotten to feed Coolsmartpet II the previous night.
As I write, Coolsmartpet III is beside me on the desk, doing rather well. Although the gameplay is repetitive, it doesn’t really feel so – every action you make has an effect on this thing that lives on your phone (or tablet, for that matter). You find out what your pet loves and hates (CSP III loves apples and hates burgers, for example), you see it grow through different stages and, eventually, you accept that this is harder than it looks keep on caring for your little virtual pet.
Would I recommend it to everyone? No. If you are easily distracted, this app probably isn’t for you. However, if you want to care for a pet without the mess or responsibility, or just need something to distract you from the pressures of modern life, this app will do the job nicely.
Google Play Store Link (As reviewed, £0.64p)
App Store Link (£0.69p)