trying out some mobile pet games

Mar 26th 2023

A kind of follow up to my virtual pet sites post.

A while ago I wrote about web browser pet games because I’ve played and enjoyed a lot of them, and still play a few every day! Then I started wondering why I hadn’t played any mobile pet games; it seems like the mobile platform lends itself well to a virtual pet experience. So I decided to browse the Google Play store and try some out, and I’m sharing my thoughts about each one here!

My Tamagotchi Forever

Gameplay: This game is pretty similar to the classic Tamagotchi from the 90s/2000s, but with added mobile game mechanics! You have a pet that you pet, feed, clean up after, and wash, and you can also play mini games.

Pros: Cute graphics, the mini games are pretty fun (and they have match 3! I love match 3~)

Cons: Occasional ads, you can’t do anything while your Tamagotchi sleeps, tapping your Tamagotchi to help it use the toilet is freaking weird…

Overall: This might be a good game if you have a lot of nostalgia for Tamagotchi, but I found it to be mostly boring. It feels like one of those old Facebook games to me with how it looks and the social aspects and everything.


Gameplay: You have a cute axolotl pet that you can pet, feed, and wash to increase its experience, much like in the Tamagotchi game. When it levels up, it evolves and when it reaches adulthood you can release it and get a new axolochi. You can also collect treasures to decorate your area, but you can’t decide where to place the treasures yourself. The goal is to collect all the axolochi and treasures.
There are also a few mini games to play that have really simple tapping and swiping mechanics.

Pros: The graphics are really cute, the only ads present are optional videos, you can get hats for your axolochi.

Cons: Minigames are too simple and boring, not much interactivity with the axolochi, you can only raise one at a time.

Overall: It’s a really cute and really simple game that might be good for little kids, but there just isn’t enough substance in it for me to recommend it to anyone.

Kotodama Diary

Gameplay: Basically a tapping game, but more interesting than cookie clicker. You tap on hearts to fill your kotodummy’s heart gauge, and when it’s full you get to evolve them! When they evolve, you get to choose a word from a random selection to feed them and the word you choose affects what they look like! It seems like there are a lot of different evolutions to collect.
You can also buy furniture with in-game currency to decorate your room, which offer bonuses for filling kotodummies’ heart gauges. There’s premium currency too, which is used for power-ups and the accessory gacha (yes there’s a gacha system).
When you’re ready to take a break, send one of your kotodummies on an errand. They’ll do stuff while you’re away and you can collect rewards when you go back to playing (after 1 - 6 hours)!

Pros: Cute pixel graphics, lots of creatures to collect, a lot of decoration options, a very unique take on pet games.

Cons: Ads after every evolution (I wouldn’t mind the ads so much if they kept it to just the optional ones you can choose to watch for bonus items), not much interactivity with the little creatures.

Overall: I recommend it for people who like collecting things! It’s a cute game that’s great for killing a few minutes or decorating your space with cute furniture and quirky creatures. I think I’ll probably continue playing this one for a while!

Amaru: The Self-Care Pet

Gameplay: Definitely a different type of pet game, this one combines taking care of a pet with taking care of yourself! You can build your bond with Amaru by petting and feeding him, but sometimes he’ll feel too anxious to bond with you. You can help him relax by improving your aura through mindfulness exercises, like guided breathing and journaling. This game also has minigames, which are all pretty fun!
Another very unique feature of this game is that it encourages you to NOT spend a lot of time staring at your phone. You can set a bedtime for Amaru to sleep, which will also make it so that you can’t interact too much with the game. You can also set a wake up time, and how much time you prefer to spend on minigames.

Pros: The art is super cute and well animated, the minigames are fun, there are different areas to explore, Amaru is a very interactive pet, the game encourages good mental health, and there are no ads

Cons: The free to play part is only a trial version of the full game, and if you’re not interested in the self-care parts of the game then those mechanics may feel like they get in the way of playing with your pet

Overall: I probably won’t keep playing this one since I’m not interested in the self-care aspect of this game, but I do really appreciate what they’re trying to do and I love how cute everything looks!

It seems to me that mobile pet games are a lot more collection focused than browser pet games. There are of course collecting pets and items and stuff in every game I’ve played, but browser games seem to be more focused on raising your pet, leveling them up, and actually doing stuff with them. With most of the mobile games I tried, raising your pet just amounted to getting them to adulthood and moving on to the next pet. The browser games I’ve tried leave a lot more room open for roleplay, and so I feel more of a bond with my browser pets as opposed to mobile pets.

This was an interesting experience, and it really made me think more about what exactly it is that I enjoy in pet games! I enjoy leveling my pets, sending them on adventures, battling with them, and playing games with them. I’d rather raise a couple pets that I can further interact with than collect hundreds of pets that don’t do anything except look cute.

Maybe someday I’ll learn how to code or team up with a programmer to make the mobile pet game of my dreams! I already have some ideas for it, but I have to develop them a bit more before I share anything hehe.

Until then, goodbye butterfly!

tags: gaming