✿ Tamanalysis ✿

Despite the title of this blogpost having "analysis" in it. Keep in mind that a lot of what's next is coated in my personal opinion.

I love Tamagotchis so much, these things are straight up part of my everyday life.
It's something that's very appealing to me, a tiny device of its own containing a lil pet and you get different evolutions depending on how well you take care of it. And if you neglect the pet, it dies!!!
I'll say right away that one downside of Tamagotchis is that depending on your life, Tamagotchis are not gonna be something you can take care of. These rambles are coming from someone who has the privilege of being able to have a bunch of toys on their desk while they work all day (me). It's extremely valid to prefer the modern Tamagotchis to the vintage Tamagotchis because they're a lot easier to take care of.
Because Tamagotchis are their own device, you can't datamine them! Because of that, there's some devices that, to this day, have evolutions nobody figured out how to obtain. And that's really cool in an era where every game gets datamined instantly and all secrets are known within days. I've made another blogpost about one of the most known case of "missing characters", Moll and Lora.

Alright let's get into the nitty gritty of it.
For the sake of clarity, i will be talking about the original Tamagotchi (1996) and mostly compare it to the Tamagotchi Uni (2023). There's a lot of Tamagotchi devices i didn't play because there's SO MANY and also I'M POOR.

First of all, here's how gameplay went in the first Tamagotchi.


(You can over your mouse over elements or touch them for more detailed infos on most concepts and how they interact with each other)

While it's pretty simple and has very few features, there still some depth to the gameplay.
Note how most features revolve around the lifespan of the pet. Makes sense since your primary goal is to take care of your pet as best as possible. You can even treat it as some sort of "high score" you may try to beat each run.

Now here's the same diagram but for the Tamagotchi Uni


Ok i know this is a bit of a mess BUT let's first look into what's missing from the OG Tamagotchi.
The lifespan feature is gone. Your pet will live forever as long as you don't severely neglect it. In the OG device, death was INEVITABLE. Your pet was bound to die after a set amount of days.
In the uni and modern color releases in general, the lifespan is now infinite. Care mistakes will still affect which adult evolution you'll get. But once you get an adult, you can do as many care mistakes as you want and you won't get punished for it.
This already removes a lot of depth to the gameplay and one core appeal of the OG Tamagotchi experience, which is that your pet WILL die no matter what.
The OG device was designed with a more realistic and cynical approach to virtual pets in mind. Turns out real pets poop, they're noisy, and then they die. Ironically, this made Tamagotchi very appealing because it felt more real. It even birthed the term "Tamagotchi effect"

On the topic of noisyness, another feature that's been removed in modern devices are "discipline calls". No more random beeping from your device you have to attend to. This also results in simplifying the requirements to get the best care evolution. The removal of discipline calls is a shame because again, it was part of what made the device more engaging and "real". Gotta discipline your baby to not randomly beep! And if you fill the discipline meter and get the best care evolution, your pet won't do random beeps anymore!

Another feature removed is weight. This is something you had to keep an eye out for because a good amount of features also revolves around it. Oh no! your pet is sad! you can feed it candy to make it happy immediatly but watch out because candy raises weight a lot! You can play a game with your pet to raise it's happiness but it's not guaranteed! You gotta win the coin flips so it's not guarranteed. What is guaranteed if you play the game is weight loss though. Also feeding meals raises the weight too so you can't just rely on quick candy and meals to keep your pet full and happy because they'll be heavy otherwise! And having a heavy pet is bad for its lifespan of course. At first glance, weight seems like simple feature but it has a bit of complexity to it which is great. It's sadly another feature that's gone missing in the modern color devices. Now if you pet is sad just stuff them with candy and immediatly cure the toothache and it's all good, that kind of behavior isn't penalized.

Now you may be wondering why i'm clingy to these features that sounds like it's more of a pain to deal with than something fun.

Good question.


If you look at the gameplay synergy of the Uni, you may be impressed to see there's sooo many new features!Aand they all look so interconnected too. But... A lot of it revolves around the happy meter and money?
This is why the uni's gameplay felt so shallow when i played it. Lifespan was a pillar of the original device's gameplay. It made sense that everything revolved around lifespan because.. You know.... It's a VIRTUAL PET. Now that it's gone, a lot of features are just fluff.
I also don't like the new features because it's stuff like... Getting your pet married, they live in their own house, they post on social media, one minigame is even fast food service which is like... A job.. It's not a virtual PET anymore, it's a virtual KID.
I do enjoy some of the addtions in the Uni but gosh, when the new features are stuff like crafting, splatfests and barebone online features... It all rings hollow to me. I really don't enjoy the direction the franchise went into, a lot of the original charm is gone.

To conclude all these rambles, i think Tamagotchi lost part of it's original soul and appeal in modern devices. A tight gameplay loop revolving around taking care of your pet as best as you can has now been replaced with a bunch of gimmicks. Lots of candy, no meat.

Since modern devices are packed with so many ways to keep your pet happy, I think they could use an extra meter called "quality care". It'd be a multiplier that affects how fast the happiness drops. If you keep feeding your pet with free food they obviously don't like, the "quality care" number lowers, they get sadder quicker. Same if you keep playing the same mini-games and same if you send it to idle in the tamaverse. This would make the pet feel more "real" and avoid cheesing the uni.