The Tamagotchi is BACK: Classic 1990s game is relaunched with six new versions


(WorldKings) It was the handheld plastic digital toy that was so addictive it was banned in some schools – and now it’s back.

Tamagotchi, the classic 1990s virtual pet game, has become the latest retro gadget to make a comeback.

Japanese toy maker Bandai has relaunched the tiny handheld game, featuring the six original pets.

The cult game will keep its low-resolution retro graphics but comes in newly created brightly-coloured eggs in two sizes. 

The devices are available now from Amazon Japan for 2,000 yen ($18, £14).

Tamagotchi games were launched in 1996, with an incredible 80million units sold worldwide by 2010.

The name Tamagotchi comes from the Japanese word for egg, 'tamago', and the English word 'watch', according to Bandai. 

In the orginal game, there were over 35 characters to look after. 

They lived on a keychain device and had to be nurtured by the owner, from an egg to adult life. 

Owners had to give them medicine when they were poorly and clean up after they'd been to the loo. 

The state of the creatures’ happiness and hunger levels were indicated by meters, which had to be monitored frequently.

The early versions didn't have a pause option and owners had to press a button every 30 minutes to feed them, otherwise they would starve to death.

This led to pupils the world over being distracted in class as they frantically tried to keep their Tamagotchis alive.

It was a big enough problem for teachers in some schools that the toys were banned.

And South Australian MP Nick Xenophon even tried to ban the game in 2005, claiming that the devices would encourage children to become the 'gambling addicts of tomorrow'. 

In November 2013, Bandai launched a revamped version of the cult game called Friends.

The handheld game closely resembled the original but featured new and more life-like characters. 

Bandai said in 2013: ‘Part fashion, part friendship, part community and all fun, the new Tamagotchi Friends combines the nurturing features and simple play pattern of the beloved handheld virtual pet, with exciting new entertainment that we believe will really resonate with Tamagotchi fans.

‘And now, with the new bump feature, similar to what’s found in today’s smartphones, these lovable, whimsical friends can connect with each other for massively increased levels of interaction.’

But the new devices are more in keeping with original game, featuring the original alien characters and keychain. 


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