Friday, February 10, 2017

Tamagotchi Tamatown Tama-Go

The Tamatown Tama-Go was the first 'modern era' Tamagotchi released in English, and acts as a successor to the Connection Era of Tamagotchis. It was released in America and Europe in 2010.

The body of the toy is big, but surprisingly light. It feels good to hold and fits well in the hand. The buttons are a hard plastic as opposed to those from the Connections, and feel nice to press.

The Tama-Go come with a faceplate that protects the screen and hold on a decorative, interchangeable screen border. The borders are made out of thin paper, so if you get the dimensions, it's easy to design your own for further customization.

The sound on the Tama-Go is really grating. It may be from using the same type of technology that the smaller ones use for sound, but still having to go through the much bigger body. Whatever the reason, I soon found myself turning it off.
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This was the first English Tamagotchi release to feature a gray-scale screen. This allows for a much greater amount of detail than the connections were able to offer. The Tamagotchi has a cute room background that can be changed at the built-in shop.

If left alone for a little while, the background fades out and just leaves the character on screen, much like the older models. This leaves a lot of empty space on the Tama-Go's bigger screen, though, and looks a bit odd.

There are two built-in games, Shoot the Bugs! and Long Jumper.

Shoot the Bugs! remind me a little of the Fireman job from the Tamagotchi V4. Your character rides up and down along the left side of the screen while bugs crawl in from the right. You use the middle button to shoot the bugs as they move towards you. It can be a little hard because your timing has to be pretty exact.

In Long Jumper, your Tamagotchi runs along blocks on the bottom of the screen, and gaps in the blocks will eventually start appearing. You have to use the left button to make a short jump, the middle button to make a slightly longer jump, and the right button for the longest jump. You have to choose the correct length of jump in order to make it over the entire hole and not accidentally jump into one that's farther along.

There's also a park that your pet can visit. Sometimes when it goes, there will be other Tamagotchis there that will play with. Other times there won't be anyone else there, which will make your pet sad.

The Tama-Go can connect to other Tama-Gos, the V5 and V6 Tamagotchis via their infrared ports. They can play games together, and even mate once they become adults.

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The shop for house remodeling and a food shop are the only shops pre-built into the toy. The rest are accessed through the use of Gotchi figures.

Part of the appeal of the Tama-Go is the collection aspect. The upper back part of the unit can be slid off and replaced with a Gotchi figure. The ones that come included with the toy are lite figures, only featuring a single game.

The other figures that are bought separately each containing two games and a shop, either one that sells items for your pet to play with or wear or one that sells food.

The unit keeps track of the number of figures you've connected with. When you connect the figure to the main toy, it displays a brief welcome message on the screen. The first time you connect the figure, it also adds it to your total number of connected figures, which you can also see under the status screen.

The last option on the top menu bar allows you to access the figure you currently have connected. From here, you can access its games, shop, and the items you've bought from it. Since items weren't pre-built into the toy, this is the only way to access them.

One nice feature they added in was toilet training for your Tamagotchi. Catching it and using the toilet icon before it makes a mess on the floor helps to raise its training bar, along with the normal discipline and praise method. If you raise it high enough, it'll eventually be able to use the toilet by itself. I'd really like to see this feature return in a future release.

Bandai also included the pause feature with this release. Like with the Connections, the unit can be paused by pressing the left and middle buttons together. Your pet won't age or need any care until it's unpaused, so it's easy to just play with it when you have the time. 

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It's pretty hardy as far as Tamagotchis go, which is good since it's so big. It's not the kind of toy you can discreetly slide out of your pocket to play with, especially if you plan on bringing Gotchi figures with you, too.

 Despite some of the difficulty in carrying it around created by the size, the Tama-Go is a fun virtual pet. A lot of features and games are unlocked through collecting the Gotchi figures, but they're relatively inexpensive online, so it's not hard to collect a lot of them. I plan on continuing to collect and play for a long time.

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